How to construct future IDF curves, under changing climate, for sites with scarce rainfall records?

Authors

  • San Chuin Liew,

    Corresponding author
    1. Tropical Marine Science Institute, National University of Singapore, Singapore
    2. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, National University of Singapore, Singapore
    • Correspondence to: San Chuin Liew, Tropical Marine Science Institute, National University of Singapore, Singapore 119227.

      E-mail: g0701151@nus.edu.sg

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  • Srivatsan V. Raghavan,

    1. Tropical Marine Science Institute, National University of Singapore, Singapore
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  • Shie-Yui Liong

    1. Tropical Marine Science Institute, National University of Singapore, Singapore
    2. Willis Research Network, Willis Re Inc., London, United Kingdom
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Abstract

Optimal designs of stormwater systems rely very much on the rainfall Intensity–Duration–Frequency (IDF) curves. As climate has shown significant changes in rainfall characteristics in many regions, the adequacy of the existing IDF curves is called for particularly when the rainfall are much more intense. For data sparse sites/regions, developing IDF curves for the future climate is even challenging. The current practice for such regions is, for example, to ‘borrow’ or ‘interpolate’ data from regions of climatologically similar characteristics.

A novel (3-step) Downscaling-Comparison-Derivation (DCD) approach was presented in the earlier study to derive IDF curves for present climate using the extracted Dynamically Downscaled data an ungauged site, Darmaga Station in Java Island, Indonesia and the approach works extremely well.

In this study, a well validated (3-step) DCD approach was applied to develop present-day IDF curves at stations with short or no rainfall record. This paper presents a new approach in which data are extracted from a high spatial resolution Regional Climate Model (RCM; 30 × 30 km over the study domain) driven by Reanalysis data. A site in Java, Indonesia, is selected to demonstrate the application of this approach. Extremes from projected rainfall (6-hourly results; ERA40 Reanalysis) are first used to derive IDF curves for three sites (meteorological stations) where IDF curves exist; biases observed resulting from these sites are captured and serve as very useful information in the derivation of present-day IDF curves for sites with short or no rainfall record. The final product of the present-day climate-derived IDF curves fall within a specific range, +38% to +45%. This range allows designers to decide on a value within the lower and upper bounds, normally subjected to engineering, economic, social and environmental concerns. Deriving future IDF curves for Stations with existing IDF curves and ungauged sites with simulation data from RCM driven by global climate model (GCM ECHAM5) (6-hourly results; A2 emission scenario) have also been presented. The proposed approach can be extended to other emission scenarios so that a bandwidth of uncertainties can be assessed to create appropriate and effective adaptation strategies/measures to address climate change and its impacts. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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