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Causes and Probability of Occurrence of Extreme Precipitation Events like Chennai 2015

Author(s): Krishnamurthy, Lakshmi; Vecchi, Gabriel A; Yang, Xiaosong; van der Wiel, Karin; Balaji, V; et al

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Abstract: Unprecedented high-intensity flooding induced by extreme precipitation was reported over Chennai in India during November–December of 2015, which led to extensive damage to human life and property. It is of utmost importance to determine the odds of occurrence of such extreme floods in the future, and the related climate phenomena, for planning and mitigation purposes. Here, a suite of simulations from GFDL high-resolution coupled climate models are used to investigate the odds of occurrence of extreme floods induced by extreme precipitation over Chennai and the role of radiative forcing and/or large-scale SST forcing in enhancing the probability of such events in the future. The climate of twentieth-century experiments with large ensembles suggest that the radiative forcing may not enhance the probability of extreme floods over Chennai. Doubling of CO2 experiments also fails to show evidence for an increase of such events in a global warming scenario. Further, this study explores the role of SST forcing from the Indian and Pacific Oceans on the odds of occurrence of Chennai-like floods. Neither El Niño nor La Niña enhances the probability of extreme floods over Chennai. However, a warm Bay of Bengal tends to increase the odds of occurrence of extreme Chennai-like floods. In order to trigger a Chennai like-flood, a conducive weather event, such as a tropical depression over the Bay of Bengal with strong transport of moisture from a moist atmosphere over the warm Bay, is necessary for the intense precipitation.
Publication Date: 18-May-2018
Citation: Krishnamurthy, Lakshmi, Gabriel A. Vecchi, Xiaosong Yang, Karin van der Wiel, V. Balaji, Sarah B. Kapnick, Liwei Jia, Fanrong Zeng, Karen Paffendorf, and Seth Underwood. "Causes and probability of occurrence of extreme precipitation events like Chennai 2015." Journal of Climate 31, no. 10 (2018): 3831-3848. doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-17-0302.1.
DOI: doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-17-0302.1
ISSN: 0894-8755
EISSN: 1520-0442
Pages: 3831 - 3848
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: Journal of Climate
Version: Final published version. Article is made available in OAR by the publisher's permission or policy.

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