The coastal area of Bangladesh is highly vulnerable to extreme sea levels because of high population exposure in the low-lying deltaic coast. Since the area lies in the monsoon region, abundant precipitation and the resultant increase in river discharge have raised a flood risk for the coastal area. Although the effects of atmospheric forces have been investigated intensively, the influence of precipitation on extreme sea levels in this area remains unknown. In this study, the influence of precipitation on extreme sea levels for three different stations were investigated by multivariate regression using the meteorological drivers of precipitation, sea level pressure, and wind. The prediction of sea levels considering precipitation effects outperformed predictions without precipitation. The benefit of incorporating precipitation was greater at Cox’s Bazar than at Charchanga and Khepupara, reflecting the hilly landscape at Cox’s Bazar. The improved prediction skill was mainly confirmed during the monsoon season, when strong precipitation events occur. It was also revealed that the precipitation over the Bangladesh area is insensitive to the El Niño-Southern Oscillation and Indian Ocean Dipole mode. The precipitation over northern Bangladesh tended to be high in the year of a high sea surface temperature over the Bay of Bengal, which may have contributed to the variation in sea level. The findings suggest that the effect of precipitation plays an essential role in enhancing sea levels during many extreme events. Therefore, incorporating the effect of terrestrial precipitation is essential for the better prediction of extreme sea levels, which helps coastal management and reduction of hazards.
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