Long-Term Temporal Variation of Extreme Rainfall Events in Australia: 1910–2006

Fu, Guobin; Viney, Neil R.; Charles, Stephen P.; Liu, Jianrong
August 2010
Journal of Hydrometeorology;Aug2010, Vol. 11 Issue 4, p950
Academic Journal
The temporal variability of the frequency of short-duration extreme precipitation events in Australia for the period 1910–2006 is examined using the high-quality rainfall dataset identified by the Bureau of Meteorology, Australia, for 189 stations. Extreme events are defined by duration and recurrence interval: 1, 5, 10, and 30 days, and 1, 5, and 20 yr, respectively. The results indicate that temporal variations of the extreme precipitation index (EPI) for various durations and recurrence intervals in the last 100 yr, except for the low frequencies before 1918, have experienced three U-shaped cycles: 1918–53, 1953–74, and 1974–2006. Seasonal results indicate that about two-thirds of 1-day, 1-yr recurrence interval extreme events occur from December to March. Time series of anomalies of the regional EPIs for four regions indicate that northeast Australia and southeast Australia have almost the same temporal variation as the national anomalies, South Australia experienced a negative anomaly of extreme rainfall events in the mid-1950s, and southwest Western Australia (SWWA) experienced relatively small temporal variation. The relationships between extreme rainfall events and the Southern Oscillation index (SOI) and the interdecadal Pacific oscillation (IPO) indicate that extreme rainfall events in Australia have a strong relationship with both, especially during La Niña years and after 1942.


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