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Atmosphere 2018, 9(4), 151; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9040151

An Uncertainty Investigation of RCM Downscaling Ratios in Nonstationary Extreme Rainfall IDF Curves

1,2,3
,
1,2,3,* , 2
,
1,3
and
1,3,*
1
Key Laboratory of Virtual Geographic Environment, Nanjing Normal University, Ministry of Education, Nanjing 210023, China
2
Water and Environmental Management Research Centre, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1TR, UK
3
Jiangsu Center for Collaborative Innovation in Geographical Information Resource Development and Application, Nanjing 210023, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 16 March 2018 / Revised: 6 April 2018 / Accepted: 16 April 2018 / Published: 18 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Precipitation: Measurement and Modeling)
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Abstract

Designed for rainstorms and flooding, hydrosystems are largely based on local rainfall Intensity–Duration–Frequency (IDF) curves which include nonstationary components accounting for climate variability. IDF curves are commonly calculated using downscaling outputs from General Circulation Models (GCMs) or Regional Circulation Models (RCMs). However, the downscaling procedures used in most studies are based on one specific time scale (e.g., 1 h) and generally ignore scale-driven uncertainty. This study analyzes the uncertainties in IDF curves stemming from RCM downscaling ratios for four representative weather stations in the United Kingdom. We constructed a series of IDF curves using distribution-based scaling bias-correction technology and a statistical downscaling method to explore the scale-driven uncertainty of IDF curves. The results revealed considerable scale-induced uncertainty of IDF curves for short durations and long return periods; however, there was no clear correlation with the mean storm intensity of the IDF curves of different RCM ensemble members for each duration and return period. The scale-driven uncertainty of IDF curves, which may be propagated or enhanced through hydrometeorological applications, is critical and cannot be ignored in the hydrosystem design process; therefore, a multi-scale method to derive IDF curves must be developed. View Full-Text
Keywords: downscaling ratios; IDF curves; RCM; uncertainty downscaling ratios; IDF curves; RCM; uncertainty
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Yang, Q.; Dai, Q.; Han, D.; Zhu, X.; Zhang, S. An Uncertainty Investigation of RCM Downscaling Ratios in Nonstationary Extreme Rainfall IDF Curves. Atmosphere 2018, 9, 151.

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