Reduced Rainfall in Future Heavy Precipitation Events Related to Contracted Rain Area Despite Increased Rain Rate

Moshe Armon*, Francesco Marra, Yehouda Enzel, Dorita Rostkier-Edelstein, Chaim I. Garfinkel, Ori Adam, Uri Dayan, Efrat Morin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Heavy precipitation events (HPEs) can lead to deadly and costly natural disasters and are critical to the hydrological budget in regions where rainfall variability is high and water resources depend on individual storms. Thus, reliable projections of such events in the future are needed. To provide high-resolution projections under the RCP8.5 scenario for HPEs at the end of the 21st century, and to understand the changes in sub-hourly to daily rainfall patterns, weather research and forecasting (WRF) model simulations of 41 historic HPEs in the eastern Mediterranean are compared with “pseudo global warming” simulations of the same events. This paper presents the changes in rainfall patterns in future storms, decomposed into storms' mean conditional rain rate, duration, and area. A major decrease in rainfall accumulation (−30% averaged across events) is found throughout future HPEs. This decrease results from a substantial reduction of the rain area of storms (−40%) and occurs despite an increase in the mean conditional rain intensity (+15%). The duration of the HPEs decreases (−9%) in future simulations. Regionally maximal 10-min rain rates increase (+22%), whereas over most of the region, long-duration rain rates decrease. The consistency of results across events, driven by varying synoptic conditions, suggests that these changes have low sensitivity to the specific synoptic evolution during the events. Future HPEs in the eastern Mediterranean will therefore likely be drier and more spatiotemporally concentrated, with substantial implications on hydrological outcomes of storms.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numbere2021EF002397
JournalEarth's Future
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022

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© 2021 The Authors. Earth's Future published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of American Geophysical Union.


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