Climate and Weather Extremes

A special issue of Climate (ISSN 2225-1154).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2022) | Viewed by 39202

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Guest Editor
Department of Physics, University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, Quinta de Prados, 5000-801 Vila Real, Portugal
Interests: climate dynamics, variability and change; short-term extreme events; influence weather and climate on wildfire, ecosystems, food production, water quality and resources
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Special Issue Information

Extreme weather and climate events are responsible for a huge number of fatalities, injuries, and damages, having high economic costs and a profound impact on both human society and the natural environment. In addition, knowledge of the regime of weather and climate extremes is fundamental to assess how much and how quickly the world’s climates are changing. Therefore, this Special Issue is devoted to the events located on both tails of the historical distribution of all climate elements (i.e., very high and very low values of precipitation, air temperature, air humidity, pressure, wind, solar radiation, etc.). Articles on all aspects of the assessment and analysis of weather and climate extremes are welcome, including: observation, detection, and monitoring; processes of creation, development, and extinction; external factors/drivers and internal mechanisms; space-time distribution and natural/forced variability at various scales; current and future regimes (e.g., frequency, periodicity and intensity); interaction with other processes, extreme events, and natural disasters (flood, landslide, mudslide, wildfire); danger and risk assessment; modelling and simulation; and impacts and changes on human and natural systems. We will accept the submission of review articles; descriptions of database development; papers on the development, testing, and application of new methods; empirical studies; case studies; and modelling and projection studies for the future.

Dr. Mário Gonzalez Pereira
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • weather extremes
  • climate extremes
  • heat waves
  • cold waves
  • drought
  • heavy precipitation
  • wind gusts
  • storms
  • hailstorm
  • downburst

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Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

23 pages, 3358 KiB  
Article
A Visual Analytics Pipeline for the Identification and Exploration of Extreme Weather Events from Social Media Data
by Lise Styve, Carlo Navarra, Julie Maria Petersen, Tina-Simone Neset and Katerina Vrotsou
Climate 2022, 10(11), 174; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli10110174 - 14 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2726
Abstract
Extreme weather events are expected to increase in frequency and intensity due to global warming. During disaster events, up-to-date relevant information is crucial for early detection and response. Recently, Twitter emerged as a potentially important source of volunteered geographic information of key value [...] Read more.
Extreme weather events are expected to increase in frequency and intensity due to global warming. During disaster events, up-to-date relevant information is crucial for early detection and response. Recently, Twitter emerged as a potentially important source of volunteered geographic information of key value for global monitoring systems and increasing situational awareness. While research on the use of machine learning approaches to automatically detect disaster events from social media is increasing, the visualization and exploration of the identified events and their contextual data are often neglected. In this paper, we address this gap by proposing a visual analytics pipeline for the identification and flexible exploration of extreme weather events, in particular floods, from Twitter data. The proposed pipeline consists of three main steps: (1) text classification, (2) location extraction, and (3) interactive visualization. We tested and assessed the performances of four classification algorithms for classifying relevant tweets as flood-related, applied an algorithm to assign location information, and introduced a visual interface for exploring their spatial, temporal, and attribute characteristics. To demonstrate our work, we present an example use case where two independent flooding events were identified and explored. The proposed approach has the potential to support real-time monitoring of events by providing data on local impacts collected from citizens and to facilitate the evaluation of extreme weather events to increase adaptive capacity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate and Weather Extremes)
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15 pages, 4762 KiB  
Article
Evaluating the Influence of CAM5 Aerosol Configuration on Simulated Tropical Cyclones in the North Atlantic
by J. Jacob A. Huff, Kevin A. Reed, Julio T. Bacmeister and Michael F. Wehner
Climate 2022, 10(9), 130; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli10090130 - 31 Aug 2022
Viewed by 6549
Abstract
This study examines the influence of prescribed and prognostic aerosol model configurations on the formation of tropical cyclones (TCs) in the North Atlantic Ocean in Community Atmosphere Model version 5 (CAM5). The impact of aerosol parameterization is examined by investigating storm track density, [...] Read more.
This study examines the influence of prescribed and prognostic aerosol model configurations on the formation of tropical cyclones (TCs) in the North Atlantic Ocean in Community Atmosphere Model version 5 (CAM5). The impact of aerosol parameterization is examined by investigating storm track density, genesis density, potential intensity, and genesis potential index. This work shows that both CAM5 configurations simulate reduced storm frequency when compared to observations and that differences in TC climatology between the model configurations can be explained by differences in the large-scale environment. The analysis shows that simulation with the prognostic aerosol parameterization scheme reasonably captures the observed interannual variability in tropical cyclones and aerosols (i.e., dust) in the North Atlantic, while simulation with the prescribed configuration (climatology) is less favorable. The correlation between dust and TCs in observations (i.e., reanalysis and satellite datasets) is shown to be negative, and this relationship was also found for the prognostic aerosol configuration despite an overall decrease in the frequency of TCs. This indicates that, to accurately replicate certain aspects of TC interannual variability, the aerosol configuration within CAM5 needs to account for the appropriate dust variability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate and Weather Extremes)
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14 pages, 11094 KiB  
Article
Heat Vulnerability Index Mapping: A Case Study of a Medium-Sized City (Amiens)
by Aiman Mazhar Qureshi and Ahmed Rachid
Climate 2022, 10(8), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli10080113 - 24 Jul 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3861
Abstract
Urbanization, anthropogenic activities, and social determinants such as poverty and literacy rate greatly contribute to heat-related mortalities. The 2003 strong heat wave (Lucifer) in France resulted in catastrophic health consequences in the region that may be attributed to urbanization and other anthropogenic activities. [...] Read more.
Urbanization, anthropogenic activities, and social determinants such as poverty and literacy rate greatly contribute to heat-related mortalities. The 2003 strong heat wave (Lucifer) in France resulted in catastrophic health consequences in the region that may be attributed to urbanization and other anthropogenic activities. Amiens is a medium-sized French city, where the average temperature has increased since the year 2000. In this study, we evaluated the Heat Vulnerability Index (HVI) in Amiens for extreme heat days recorded during three years (2018–2020). We used the principal component analysis (PCA) technique for fine-scale vulnerability mapping. The main types of considered data included (a) socioeconomic and demographic data, (b) air pollution, (c) land use and cover, (d) elderly heat illness, (e) social vulnerability, and (f) remote sensing data (land surface temperature (LST), mean elevation, normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), and normalized difference water index (NDWI)). The output maps identified the hot zones through comprehensive GIS analysis. The resultant maps showed that high HVI exists in three typical areas: (1) areas with dense population and low vegetation, (2) areas with artificial surfaces (built-up areas), and (3) industrial zones. Low-HVI areas are in natural landscapes such as rivers and grasslands. Our analysis can be implemented in other cities to highlight areas at high risk of extreme heat and air pollution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate and Weather Extremes)
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15 pages, 274 KiB  
Article
Making Climate Risks Governable in Swedish Municipalities: Crisis Preparedness, Technical Measures, and Public Involvement
by Rolf Lidskog and Linn Rabe
Climate 2022, 10(7), 90; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli10070090 - 21 Jun 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2439
Abstract
Creating preparedness for climate change has become an increasingly important task for society. In Sweden, the responsibility for crisis preparedness rests to a large extent on the municipalities. Through an interview study of municipal officials, this paper examines municipalities’ crisis preparedness for climate [...] Read more.
Creating preparedness for climate change has become an increasingly important task for society. In Sweden, the responsibility for crisis preparedness rests to a large extent on the municipalities. Through an interview study of municipal officials, this paper examines municipalities’ crisis preparedness for climate change and the role they assign to citizens. The theoretical approach is that of risk governance, which adopts an inclusive approach to risk management, and that of risk sociology, which states that how a problem is defined determines how it should be handled and by whom. The empirical results show that the municipal officials mainly discuss technically defined risks, such as certain kinds of climate-related extreme events, the handling of which does not require any substantial involvement of citizens. Citizens’ responsibility is only to be individually prepared, and thereby they do not require municipal resources to protect their own properties in the case of an extreme event. The municipalities, however, feel that their citizens have not developed this individual preparedness and therefore they try to better inform them. This analysis finds five different views of citizens, all with their own problems, and to which the municipalities respond with different communicative measures. By way of conclusion, three crucial aspects are raised regarding the task of making societies better prepared for climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate and Weather Extremes)
24 pages, 58796 KiB  
Article
Spatiotemporal Changes in Mean and Extreme Climate: Farmers’ Perception and Its Agricultural Implications in Awash River Basin, Ethiopia
by Addisu Damtew, Ermias Teferi, Victor Ongoma, Richard Mumo and Befikadu Esayas
Climate 2022, 10(6), 89; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli10060089 - 20 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2955
Abstract
The increase in the intensity and frequency of climate extremes threatens socioeconomic development. This study examines variability of mean and extreme climate, farmers’ perception of the changes, and impacts in the Awash River Basin. Daily rainfall and temperature data were used to analyze [...] Read more.
The increase in the intensity and frequency of climate extremes threatens socioeconomic development. This study examines variability of mean and extreme climate, farmers’ perception of the changes, and impacts in the Awash River Basin. Daily rainfall and temperature data were used to analyze 23 extreme climate indices. The Mann–Kendall test was used to assess the magnitude and significance of the changes. Results show an increase in minimum (0.019–0.055 °C/year) and maximum temperatures (0.049–0.09 °C/year), while total rainfall is on a downward trend (from −3.84 mm/year to −10.26 mm/year). Warm extreme temperature indicators, including warmest day (TXx), warmest night (TNx), warm day (TX90p), warm night (TN90p), and warm spell duration indicator (WSDI), show a significant increasing trend (p < 0.05). Nevertheless, except the tepid–cool humid agroecology zone, cold extreme temperature indicators in cool days (TN10p), cool nights (TX10p), and cold spell duration (CSDI) are declining. Extreme precipitation indices, including maximum 1-day precipitation amount (RX1day), count of days when precipitation ≥10 mm (R10 mm), maximum 5-day precipitation amount (RX5day), count of days when precipitation ≥20 mm (R20mm), very wet days (R95p), extreme wet days (R99p), and total precipitation (PRCPTOT), show a decreasing trend. The perception of most farmers’ on climate change and climate extremes agreed with climate records. The major impacts perceived and asserted over all agroecologies are food price inflation, crop productivity decline, crop pests and diseases spread, livestock disease increase, and the emergence of pests and weeds. The increasing trend in extreme warm temperatures, decreasing trend in the cold extreme, and declining trend in precipitation indicators affected agricultural productivity and farmers whose livelihood depends on rainfed agriculture. This agroecology-specific study provides critical information to policymakers, decision makers, and farmers about the potential impacts of climate change and extreme events, leading to the development of agroecology-based adaptation measures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate and Weather Extremes)
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27 pages, 5895 KiB  
Article
Tipping Points and Changes in Australian Climate and Extremes
by Jorgen S. Frederiksen and Stacey L. Osbrough
Climate 2022, 10(5), 73; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli10050073 - 19 May 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 4261
Abstract
Systematic changes, since the beginning of the 20th century, in average and extreme Australian rainfall and temperatures indicate that Southern Australian climate has undergone regime transitions into a drier and warmer state. South-west Western Australia (SWWA) experienced the most dramatic drying trend with [...] Read more.
Systematic changes, since the beginning of the 20th century, in average and extreme Australian rainfall and temperatures indicate that Southern Australian climate has undergone regime transitions into a drier and warmer state. South-west Western Australia (SWWA) experienced the most dramatic drying trend with average streamflow into Perth dams, in the last decade, just 20% of that before the 1960s and extreme, decile 10, rainfall reduced to near zero. In south-eastern Australia (SEA) systematic decreases in average and extreme cool season rainfall became evident in the late 1990s with a halving of the area experiencing average decile 10 rainfall in the early 21st century compared with that for the 20th century. The shift in annual surface temperatures over SWWA and SEA, and indeed for Australia as a whole, has occurred primarily over the last 20 years with the percentage area experiencing extreme maximum temperatures in decile 10 increasing to an average of more than 45% since the start of the 21st century compared with less than 3% for the 20th century mean. Average maximum temperatures have also increased by circa 1 °C for SWWA and SEA over the last 20 years. The climate changes in rainfall an d temperatures are associated with atmospheric circulation shifts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate and Weather Extremes)
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20 pages, 2997 KiB  
Article
A High-Resolution Earth Observations and Machine Learning-Based Approach to Forecast Waterborne Disease Risk in Post-Disaster Settings
by Farah Nusrat, Musad Haque, Derek Rollend, Gordon Christie and Ali S. Akanda
Climate 2022, 10(4), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli10040048 - 22 Mar 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3839
Abstract
Responding to infrastructural damage in the aftermath of natural disasters at a national, regional, and local level poses a significant challenge. Damage to road networks, clean water supply, and sanitation infrastructures, as well as social amenities like schools and hospitals, exacerbates the circumstances. [...] Read more.
Responding to infrastructural damage in the aftermath of natural disasters at a national, regional, and local level poses a significant challenge. Damage to road networks, clean water supply, and sanitation infrastructures, as well as social amenities like schools and hospitals, exacerbates the circumstances. As safe water sources are destroyed or mixed with contaminated water during a disaster, the risk of a waterborne disease outbreak is elevated in those disaster-affected locations. A country such as Haiti, where a large quantity of the population is deprived of safe water and basic sanitation facilities, would suffer more in post-disaster scenarios. Early warning of waterborne diseases like cholera would be of great help for humanitarian aid, and the management of disease outbreak perspectives. The challenging task in disease forecasting is to identify the suitable variables that would better predict a potential outbreak. In this study, we developed five (5) models including a machine learning approach, to identify and determine the impact of the environmental and social variables that play a significant role in post-disaster cholera outbreaks. We implemented the model setup with cholera outbreak data in Haiti after the landfall of Hurricane Matthew in October 2016. Our results demonstrate that adding high-resolution data in combination with appropriate social and environmental variables is helpful for better cholera forecasting in a post-disaster scenario. In addition, using a machine learning approach in combination with existing statistical or mechanistic models provides important insights into the selection of variables and identification of cholera risk hotspots, which can address the shortcomings of existing approaches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate and Weather Extremes)
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20 pages, 9151 KiB  
Article
Extreme Ground Snow Loads in Europe from 1951 to 2100
by Pietro Croce, Paolo Formichi and Filippo Landi
Climate 2021, 9(9), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli9090133 - 25 Aug 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3618
Abstract
Lightweight roofs are extremely sensitive to extreme snow loads, as confirmed by recently occurring failures all over Europe. Obviously, the problem is further emphasized in warmer climatic areas, where low design values are generally foreseen for snow loads. Like other climatic actions, representative [...] Read more.
Lightweight roofs are extremely sensitive to extreme snow loads, as confirmed by recently occurring failures all over Europe. Obviously, the problem is further emphasized in warmer climatic areas, where low design values are generally foreseen for snow loads. Like other climatic actions, representative values of snow loads provided in structural codes are usually derived by means of suitable elaborations of extreme statistics, assuming climate stationarity over time. As climate change impacts are becoming more and more evident over time, that hypothesis is becoming controversial, so that suitable adaptation strategies aiming to define climate resilient design loads need to be implemented. In the paper, past and future trends of ground snow load in Europe are assessed for the period 1950–2100, starting from high-resolution climate simulations, recently issued by the CORDEX program. Maps of representative values of snow loads adopted for structural design, associated with an annual probability of exceedance p = 2%, are elaborated for Europe. Referring to the historical period, the obtained maps are critically compared with the current European maps based on observations. Factors of change maps, referred to subsequent time windows are presented considering RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 emission trajectories, corresponding to medium and maximum greenhouse gas concentration scenarios. Factors of change are thus evaluated considering suitably selected weather stations in Switzerland and Germany, for which high quality point measurements, sufficiently extended over time are available. Focusing on the investigated weather stations, the study demonstrates that climate models can appropriately reproduce historical trends and that a decrease of characteristic values of the snow loads is expected over time. However, it must be remarked that, if on one hand the mean value of the annual maxima tends to reduce, on the other hand, its standard deviation tends to increase, locally leading to an increase of the extreme values, which should be duly considered in the evaluation of structural reliability over time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate and Weather Extremes)
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25 pages, 10989 KiB  
Article
Precipitation Climatology for the Arid Region of the Arabian Peninsula—Variability, Trends and Extremes
by Platon Patlakas, Christos Stathopoulos, Helena Flocas, Nikolaos S. Bartsotas and George Kallos
Climate 2021, 9(7), 103; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli9070103 - 22 Jun 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3398
Abstract
The Arabian Peninsula is a region characterized by diverse climatic conditions due to its location and geomorphological characteristics. Its precipitation patterns are characterized by very low annual amounts with great seasonal and spatial variability. Moreover, extreme events often lead to flooding and pose [...] Read more.
The Arabian Peninsula is a region characterized by diverse climatic conditions due to its location and geomorphological characteristics. Its precipitation patterns are characterized by very low annual amounts with great seasonal and spatial variability. Moreover, extreme events often lead to flooding and pose threat to human life and activities. Towards a better understanding of the spatiotemporal features of precipitation in the region, a thirty-year (1986-2015) climatic analysis has been prepared with the aid of the state-of-the-art numerical modeling system RAMS/ICLAMS. Its two-way interactive nesting capabilities, explicit cloud microphysical schemes with seven categories of hydrometeors and the ability to handle dust aerosols as predictive quantities are significant advantages over an area where dust is a dominant factor. An extended evaluation based on in situ measurements and satellite records revealed a good model behavior. The analysis was performed in three main components; the mean climatic characteristics, the rainfall trends and the extreme cases. The extremes are analyzed under the principles of the extreme value theory, focusing not only on the duration but also on the intensity of the events. The annual and monthly rainfall patterns are investigated and discussed. The spatial distribution of the precipitation trends revealed insignificant percentage differences in the examined period. Furthermore, it was demonstrated that the eastern part and the top half of the western Arabian Peninsula presented the lowest risk associated with extreme events. Apart from the pure scientific interest, the present study provides useful information for different sectors of society and economy, such as civil protection, constructions and reinsurance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate and Weather Extremes)
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19 pages, 53081 KiB  
Article
Exceedance and Return Period of High Temperature in the African Region
by Alemtsehai A. Turasie
Climate 2021, 9(4), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli9040053 - 31 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3361
Abstract
Several studies have indicated that the social, economic and other impacts of global warming can be linked with changes in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather/climate events. Developing countries, particularly in the African region, are highly affected by extreme events such as [...] Read more.
Several studies have indicated that the social, economic and other impacts of global warming can be linked with changes in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather/climate events. Developing countries, particularly in the African region, are highly affected by extreme events such as high temperature, usually followed/accompanied by drought. Therefore, studying the probability of occurrence and return period of extreme temperatures, and possible change in these parameters, is of high importance for climate-related policy making and preparedness works in the region. This study aims to address these issues by assessing probability of exceedance and return period of extremes in annual maximum and annual mean temperatures. The analyses of historical data in this study showed that extremes in both annual maximum and mean temperature are highly likely to be exceeded more often in the future compared to the past. For the extreme event marker (threshold) defined in this study, probability of 3 exceedances in the following 19 years (for instance), at any gridpoint, is estimated to be at least 10% for extremes in annual maxima and at least 15% for those in annual means. Most places in the region, however, have much higher (up to 20%) probability of exceedance. The estimated probability of exceedance has shown increasing tendency with time. Return period, based on the most recent data, of extremes in annual maximum temperature is found to be less than 6.5 years at about 48% of the gridpoints in the region. Similarly, return period of extremes in annual mean temperature is estimated to be less than 5.5 years at about 82% of places in the region. These estimates have also shown a strong tendency of getting shorter as time goes on. On average, extremes in annual mean temperature were found to have shorter return periods (4–7 years) compared to those in annual maximum temperature (6–10 years), at 95% confidence. The empirical results presented in this study are generally in agreement with IPCC’s projections of increased warming trend. This data-driven, robust method is used in the present study and the results can also be considered as an alternative approach for detecting changes in climate via estimating and assessing possible changes in frequency of extreme events with time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate and Weather Extremes)
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