The Multi-Scale Temporal Variability of Extreme Precipitation in the Source Region of the Yellow River
State Key Laboratory of Hydrology-Water Resources and Hydraulic Engineering, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China
Division of Hydrologic Sciences, Desert Research Institute, Las Vegas, NV 89119, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(1), 92; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11010092
Received: 29 October 2018 / Revised: 7 December 2018 / Accepted: 30 December 2018 / Published: 8 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Hydrology and Hydrogeology)
Changes in extreme precipitation are critical to assess the potential impacts of climate change on human and natural systems. This paper provides a comprehensive investigation on the multi-scale temporal variability of extreme precipitation in the Source Region of the Yellow River (SRYR). The statistical analysis explores multi-scale extreme precipitation variability ranging from short to long term, including seasonal, annual, and inter-annual variations at different locations in the SRYR. The results suggest that seasonal patterns of extreme precipitation do not always follow the seasonal pattern of total precipitation. Heavy precipitation mostly happens during the period from May and October with July as the peak, while dry conditions are mostly seen in winter seasons. However, there are no significant annual trends for most indices at most locations. The extreme heavy precipitation presents an increasing trend at high elevation and decreasing trend at low elevation. The extreme dry condition presents more consistently decreasing trends at nearly all locations. Long-term analyses indicate that most of the selected indices except average daily intensity display multi-year bands ranging from 2 to 8 years which is probably due to the effects of El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). A further evaluation on how the ENSO events would impact extreme precipitation shows that eastern Pacific warming (EPW) and central Pacific warming (CPW) would bring less extreme heavy precipitation compared to normal years. These results can provide a beneficial reference to understand the temporal variability of extreme precipitation in the SRYR.