Return to CIG

Search

View All Publications

Go To Publication by Year:

View Publications by Topic:

Adaptation

Agriculture

Air Quality

Aquatic Ecosystems and Fisheries

Background Papers

Climate: Atmospheric Modeling

Climate: Coupled Atmosphere-Ocean Modeling

Climate: Diagnostics

Climate: Global Climate

Climate: Ocean Modeling

Climate: PNW Climate

Climate: Regional Climate Modeling

Coastal Ecosystems

Coastal Environments

Conservation Biology

Data Analysis and Sharing

Energy

Fact Sheets

Forecasts and Applications

Forest Ecosystems

Human Health

Hydrology and Water Resources

Infrastructure

Integrated Assessment

Ocean Acidification

Oceanography

Program Documents

Science Advisory Reports

Societal Dimensions

Special Reports

Theses and Dissertations

View Publications by Author:

Search the Publication Abstracts:


Other CSES Links:

About CSES

CSES Personnel

Data / Links

Publications

Welcome to the publications directory for the Climate Impacts Group and the Climate Dynamics Group. Please contact the web administrator for assistance with any of these publications.


View: Abstract

Precipitation extremes and the impacts of climate change on stormwater infrastructure in Washington State

Rosenberg, E.A., P.W. Keys, D.B. Booth, D. Hartley, J. Burkey, A.C. Steinemann, and D.P. Lettenmaier. 2010. Precipitation extremes and the impacts of climate change on stormwater infrastructure in Washington State. Climatic Change 102(1-2): 319-349, doi: 10.1007/s10584-010-9847-0.

Abstract

The design of stormwater infrastructure is based on an underlying assumption that the probability distribution of precipitation extremes is statistically stationary. This assumption is called into question by climate change, resulting in uncertainty about the future performance of systems constructed under this paradigm. We therefore examined both historical precipitation records and simulations of future rainfall to evaluate past and prospective changes in the probability distributions of precipitation extremes across Washington State.

Our historical analyses were based on hourly precipitation records for the time period 1949-2007 from weather stations in and near the state's three major metropolitan areas: the Puget Sound region, Vancouver (WA), and Spokane. Changes in future precipitation were evaluated using two runs of the Weather Research and Forecast (WRF) regional climate model (RCM) for the time periods 1970-2000 and 2020-2050, dynamically downscaled from the ECHAM5 and CCSM3 global climate models. Bias-corrected and statistically downscaled hourly precipitation sequences were then used as input to the HSPF hydrologic model to simulate streamflow in two urban watersheds in central Puget Sound.

Few statistically significant changes were observed in the historical records, with the possible exception of the Puget Sound region. Although RCM simulations generally predict increases in extreme rainfall magnitudes, the range of these projections is too large at present to provide a basis for engineering design, and can only be narrowed through consideration of a larger sample of simulated climate data. Nonetheless, the evidence suggests that drainage infrastructure designed using mid-20th century rainfall records may be subject to a future rainfall regime that differs from current design standards.