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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 14, issue 2 | Copyright
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 14, 473-483, 2014
© Author(s) 2014. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 28 Feb 2014

Research article | 28 Feb 2014

Event-adjusted evaluation of weather and climate extremes

M. Müller1,2 and M. Kaspar1 M. Müller and M. Kaspar
  • 1Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Academy of Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic
  • 2Charles University, Faculty of Science, Prague, Czech Republic

Abstract. After an overview of existing methods, we present a novel method of "event-adjusted" evaluation of extremeness of weather and climate events. It is based on optimization of both the considered area and the time duration for every event. The method consists of three steps: (i) estimation of return periods of a representative variable at individual sites, performed separately for various time windows; (ii) spatial interpolation of the point return period data; and (iii) searching the area and the time window in which the extremeness of the event was maximum. The extremeness is quantified as the common logarithm of the spatial geometric mean of the return periods multiplied by the radius of a circle of the same area as the one over which the geometric mean is taken. The maximum product is referred to as the weather extremity index (WEI). Two precipitation events, which affected the Czech Republic in May and in August 2010, were evaluated by the WEI for illustration. Validation of the method on sufficiently long data series is still needed. Moreover, the WEI is generally applicable regardless of the studied phenomenon (heavy rains, heat waves, windstorms, etc.). This makes it possible to study various weather and climate extremes from the viewpoint of possible recent and future changes in their frequency, seasonal distribution, and circulation conditions accompanying them.

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