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Open AccessArticle

Recent Precipitation Trends and Floods in the Colombian Andes

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Research group in Water Resources Engineering and Soil (IREHISA), Universidad del Valle, Cali, Valle del Cauca 76001, Colombia
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Department of Agricultural Engineering, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa, MG 36570-900, Brasil
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Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(2), 379; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11020379
Received: 13 December 2018 / Revised: 4 February 2019 / Accepted: 5 February 2019 / Published: 22 February 2019
This study aims to identify spatial and temporal precipitation trends by analyzing eight extreme climate indices of rainfall in the High Basin of the Cauca River in Southwestern Colombia from 1970 to 2013. The relation between historical floods and El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is also analyzed. Results indicate that in general, the reduction of precipitation, especially in the center of the basin with negative annual and seasonal trends in intensity indices, namely, the annual maximum 1-day precipitation amount (RX1day) and annual maximum 5-day precipitation amount (RX5day). Sixty-four percentage of the stations exhibit an increasing trend in September–October–November in the consecutive dry days. In December–January–February interval, positive trends in most of the stations is noted for total precipitation and for the number of wet days with rainfall greater than or equal to 1 mm. The findings also show that sea surface temperature (SST) in the equatorial Pacific is statistically correlated (r) with indices of extreme precipitation (r ≥ −0.40). However, the effect of ENSO is evident with a time lag of 2–3 months. These results are relevant for forecasting floods on a regional scale, since changes in SST of the equatorial Pacific may take place 2–3 months ahead of the basin inundation. Our results contribute to the understanding of extreme rainfall events, hydrological hazard forecasts and climate variability in the Colombian Andes. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; the Cauca River; climate variability; ENSO; extreme rainfall; trends climate change; the Cauca River; climate variability; ENSO; extreme rainfall; trends
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ávila, Á.; Guerrero, F.C.; Escobar, Y.C.; Justino, F. Recent Precipitation Trends and Floods in the Colombian Andes. Water 2019, 11, 379.

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