Assessing the characteristics of extreme precipitation over northeast China using the multifractal detrended fluctuation analysis



[1] Extreme climate events have inflicted severe and adverse effects on human life, social economy, and natural ecosystems. In this study, the precipitation time series from a network of 90 weather stations in Northeast China (NEC) and for the period of 1961–2009 are used. An objective method, the multifractal detrended fluctuation analysis method, is applied to determine the thresholds of extreme events. Notable occurrence frequency and strong intensity of extreme precipitation (EP) mainly occur in Liaoning Province and the piedmont regions in Changbai Mountains and Xiao Hinggan Mountains. Generally, EP frequency shows a nonsignificant negative trend, whereas EP intensity has a weak and nonsignificant positive trend for the entire NEC in the period of 1961–2009. To assess EP severity, we propose an EP severity index (EPSI) combining both EP frequency and intensity, rather than separately analyze the EP frequency or intensity. Spatial gradients of EPSI are observed in northeast-southwest and northwest-southeast directions over NEC. The EPSI in northwestern and southeastern NEC are low (0.02–0.3), whereas high EPSI (0.34–0.83) occurs in the southwestern and northeastern portions of the region. Higher EPSI (0.4–0.83) occurs in southern Liaoning Province, which decreases along the southwest-northeast direction. The spatial patterns of EPSI are associated with the circulation over East Asia. Areas that have a short distance from sea and that locate in the windward slope of mountain will probably accompany high EP severity over NEC.