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Karianne Ødemark, Malte Müller, and Ole Einar Tveito

Abstract

This article presents a conceptual study toward establishing a new method for altering lateral boundary conditions in numerical model based estimates for probable maximum precipitation (PMP). We altered an extreme event in a physically and dynamically consistent way in a regional convective-scale weather prediction model (AROME-MetCoOp) by applying fields from a global ensemble climate model approach based on EC-EARTH. Ten ensemble members are downscaled with the regional model, which results in 10 different realizations of an extreme precipitation event for the west coast of Norway. We show how the position and orientation of the moisture flow is different between the individual ensemble members, which leads to relatively large changes in precipitation values for a selected catchment. For example, the modification of the moisture transport on scales of several hundred kilometers impacts the extreme precipitation amount by about 75% among the model members. Compared with historical rainfall records, precipitation changes of 62% and 71% are found for two selected catchments. Although the present study is restricted to one particular extreme event that is modified 10 times with the ensemble approach, there is a considerable spread of the moisture transport compared to the spread of the moisture transport of extreme precipitation events of the past 40 years. We conclude that the described approach is a step toward a new method to derive PMP values for a given catchment; however, a larger amount of events and larger ensembles would have to be considered to estimate PMP values.

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Imme Benedict, Karianne Ødemark, Thomas Nipen, and Richard Moore

Abstract

A climatology of extreme cold season precipitation events in Norway from 1979 to 2014 is presented, based on the 99th percentile of the 24-h accumulated precipitation. Three regions, termed north, west, and south are identified, each exhibiting a unique seasonal distribution. There is a proclivity for events to occur during the positive phase of the NAO. The result is statistically significant at the 95th percentile for the north and west regions. An overarching hypothesis of this work is that anomalous moisture flux, or so-called atmospheric rivers (ARs), are integral to extreme precipitation events during the Norwegian cold season. An objective analysis of the integrated vapor transport illustrates that more than 85% of the events are associated with ARs. An empirical orthogonal function and fuzzy cluster technique is used to identify the large-scale weather patterns conducive to the moisture flux and extreme precipitation. Five days before the event and for each of the three regions, two patterns are found. The first represents an intense, southward-shifted jet with a southwest–northeast orientation. The second identifies a weak, northward-shifted, zonal jet. As the event approaches, regional differences become more apparent. The distinctive flow pattern conducive to orographically enhanced precipitation emerges in the two clusters for each region. For the north and west regions, this entails primarily zonal flow impinging upon the south–north-orientated topography, the difference being the latitude of the strong flow. In contrast, the south region exhibits a significant southerly component to the flow.

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