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Katherine L. Towey, James F. Booth, Allan Frei, and Mark R. Sinclair

Abstract

The top 100 basin-scale 1-day precipitation, multiday precipitation, and 1-day streamflow events from 1950 to 2012 are examined for the Ashokan reservoir, a key water source for New York City. Through a cyclone association algorithm, extratropical cyclones (ETCs) are found to be associated with the majority of the top 100 precipitation and streamflow events. Tropical cyclones (TCs) generate the second-most top 100 one-day and multiday precipitation events, with more than two-thirds of these TCs having undergone extratropical transition. Furthermore, TCs that pass over the region are approximately 7 and 4 times more likely to generate a top 100 one-day precipitation and one-day streamflow event, respectively, than ETCs. Lagrangian cyclone track analysis shows cool season ETCs take a more meridional path compared to warm season ETCs. A composite analysis shows that for the top 100 one-day precipitation events, ETCs have relatively less moisture but stronger upper-level support than TCs. Due in part to TCs, heavy precipitation events occur more often in the warm season, whereas high streamflow events occur mainly in the cool season. Despite this difference, approximately 43% of the top 100 events, which represent many of the very strongest events, overlap for all three metrics. While high temperature and specific humidity anomalies accompany all top 100 events, the magnitude of the anomalies is greatest for isolated streamflow events. This analysis provides a reference to forecasters and water managers regarding the relative and synoptic-scale behavior of different storm types for isolated and concurrent precipitation and streamflow events.

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Ali Hamidi, Naresh Devineni, James F. Booth, Amana Hosten, Ralph R. Ferraro, and Reza Khanbilvardi

Abstract

Extreme rainfall events, specifically in urban areas, have dramatic impacts on society and can lead to loss of life and property. Despite these hazards, little is known about the city-scale variability of heavy rainfall events. In the current study, gridded stage IV radar data from 2002 to 2015 are employed to investigate the clustering and the spatial variability of simultaneous rainfall exceedances in the greater New York area. Multivariate clustering based on partitioning around medoids is applied to the extreme rainfall events’ average intensity and areal extent for the 1- and 24-h accumulated rainfall during winter (December–February) and summer (June–August) seasons. The atmospheric teleconnections of the daily extreme event for winter and summer are investigated using compositing of ERA-Interim. For both 1- and 24-h durations, the winter season extreme rainfall events have larger areal extent than the summer season extreme rainfall events. Winter extreme events are associated with deep and organized circulation patterns that lead to more areal extent, and the summer events are associated with localized frontal systems that lead to smaller areal extents. The average intensities of the 1-h extreme rainfall events in summer are much higher than the average intensities of the 1-h extreme rainfall events in winter. A clear spatial demarcation exists within the five boroughs in New York City for winter extreme events. Resultant georeferenced cluster maps can be extremely useful in risk analysis and green infrastructures planning as well as sewer systems’ management at the city scale.

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