Sanderson, B.M., Wobus, C., Mills, D., Zarakas, C., Crimmins, A., Sarofim, M.C. and Weaver, C., Informing future risks of record‐level rainfall in the United States. Geophysical Research Letters.
24 April 2019
The changing risk of extreme precipitation is difficult to project. Events are rare by definition and return periods of heavy precipitation events are often calculated assuming a stationary climate. Furthermore, ensembles of climate model projections are not large enough to fully categorize the tails of the distribution. We propose a clustering algorithm to identify self‐similar hydroclimates to estimate changes in the expected frequency of extremely rare events under scenarios of global mean temperature change. We find that, although there is some regional variation, record events are projected in general to become more intense, with 500 year events intensifying by 10‐50% under 2°C of warming and by 40‐100% under 4°C of warming.