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Changing Impacts of North Atlantic Tropical Cyclones on Extreme Precipitation Distribution across the Mid-Atlantic United States

Environmental and Health Sciences Program, Spelman College, Atlanta, GA 30314, USA
Geosciences 2019, 9(5), 207; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9050207
Received: 1 April 2019 / Revised: 3 May 2019 / Accepted: 7 May 2019 / Published: 9 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Meteorology, Climate and Severe Storms in the Mid Atlantic)
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Abstract

Almost every year, north Atlantic tropical cyclones (TCs) are responsible for significant socioeconomic losses across the Mid-Atlantic USA. However, the extent to which TC activity contributes to the changes in the probability distributions of the extreme precipitation have not yet been comprehensively characterized for this region. In this study, a quantile regression method was used to investigate the trends of the lower (τ = 0.2) and upper (τ = 0.8) quantiles of annual and seasonal daily maximum precipitation series for the region using the station-based daily precipitation data for the period 1950–2011. Results show that the rates of changes in the upper quantile have greatly strengthened for the region. Analysis of the spatial pattern of the lower and upper quantile trends for TC and non-TC extreme precipitation series shows that trends have larger magnitudes in most of the sites for TC precipitation series as compared with the non-TC precipitation series for both the lower and upper quantiles. Additionally, the highest trends are observed in the upper quantile for TC time series indicating that TC precipitation is contributing more to the upper tails of the extreme precipitation distribution as compared to the non-TC precipitation. Results from this study have implications for the improved design and reassessment of flood-controlling infrastructure. View Full-Text
Keywords: extreme precipitation; tropical cyclones; quantile regression; distributional changes extreme precipitation; tropical cyclones; quantile regression; distributional changes
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Dhakal, N. Changing Impacts of North Atlantic Tropical Cyclones on Extreme Precipitation Distribution across the Mid-Atlantic United States. Geosciences 2019, 9, 207.

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