Hydrological impact and potential flooding of convective rain cells in a semi-arid environment

E. Morin*, H. Yakir

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Spatio-temporal storm properties have a large impact on catchment hydrological response. The sensitivity of simulated flash floods to convective rain-cell characteristics is examined for an extreme storm event over a 94 km2 semi-arid catchment in southern Israel. High space-time resolution weather radar data were used to derive and model convective rain cells that then served as input into a hydrological model. Based on alterations of location, direction and speed of a major rain cell, identified as the flooding cell for this case, the impacts on catchment rainfall and generated flood were examined. Global sensitivity analysis was applied to identify the most important factors affecting the flash flood peak discharge at the catchment outlet. We found that the flood peak discharge could be increased three-fold by relatively small changes in rain-cell characteristics. We assessed that the maximum flash flood magnitude that this single rain cell can produce is 175 m3/s, and, taking into account the rest of the rain cells, the flash flood peak discharge can reach 260 m3/s.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1353-1362
Number of pages10
JournalHydrological Sciences Journal
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding The research project was funded by the Israel Science Foundation (Grant no. 880/04).


  • convective rain cells
  • flash floods
  • semi-arid climate
  • space-time rain characteristics
  • weather radar


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