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Multi-scale evaluation of extreme rainfall-event predictions using severity diagrams

D. Ceresetti 1 S. Anquetin 1 G. Molinié 1 E. Leblois 2 J.D. Creutin 1 
LTHE - Laboratoire d'étude des transferts en hydrologie et environnement
Abstract : Observations and simulations of rainfall events are usually compared by analyzing: i) the total rainfall depth produced by the event and ii) the location of the rainfall maximum. A different approach is proposed here that compares the mesoscale simulated rainfall fields with the ground rainfall observations in the multi-scale framework of maximum intensity diagrams and severity diagrams. While the first simply displays the maximum rainfall intensity of an event at a number of scales, the second gives the frequency of occurrence of the maximum rainfall intensities as a function of the spatial and temporal aggregation scales, highlighting the space-time scales of the event severity. For use in a region featuring complex relief, severity diagrams have been generalized to incorporate the regional behavior of heavy rainfall events. To assess simulation outputs from a meteorological mesoscale model, three major storms that have occurred in the last decade over a mountainous Mediterranean region of Southern France are analyzed. The severity diagrams detect the critical space-time scales of the rainfall events for comparison with those predicted by the simulation. This validation approach is adapted to evaluate the ability of the mesoscale model to predict various types of storms with different regional climatologies.
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D. Ceresetti, S. Anquetin, G. Molinié, E. Leblois, J.D. Creutin. Multi-scale evaluation of extreme rainfall-event predictions using severity diagrams. Weather and Forecasting, American Meteorological Society, 2011, 27 (1), ⟨10.1175/WAF-D-11-00003.1⟩. ⟨insu-00648103⟩



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