Extreme precipitation spatial analog: In search of an alternative approach for future extreme precipitation in urban hydrological studies

Ariel Kexuan Wang, Francina Dominguez, Arthur Robert Schmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


In this paper, extreme precipitation spatial analog is examined as an alternative method to adapt extreme precipitation projections for use in urban hydrological studies. The idea for this method is that real climate records from some cities can serve as "analogs" that behave like potential future precipitation for other locations at small spatio-temporal scales. Extreme precipitation frequency quantiles of a 3.16 km2 catchment in the Chicago area, computed using simulations from North American Regional Climate Change Assessment Program (NARCCAP) Regional Climate Models (RCMs) with L-moment method, were compared to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Atlas 14 (NA14) quantiles at other cities. Variances in raw NARCCAP historical quantiles from different combinations of RCMs, General Circulation Models (GCMs), and remapping methods are much larger than those in NA14. The performance for NARCCAP quantiles tend to depend more on the RCMs than the GCMs, especially at durations less than 24-h. The uncertainties in bias-corrected future quantiles of NARCCAP are still large compared to those of NA14, and increase with rainfall duration. Results show that future 3-h and 30-day rainfall in Chicago will be similar to historical rainfall from Memphis, TN and Springfield, IL, respectively. This indicates that the spatial analog is potentially useful, but highlights the fact that the analogs may depend on the duration of the rainfall of interest.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1032
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2019
Externally publishedYes



  • Extreme precipitation
  • Future precipitation at urban scale
  • RCM uncertainty
  • Spatial analog

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Aquatic Science
  • Water Science and Technology

Cite this