The paradoxical increase of Mediterranean extreme daily rainfall in spite of decrease in total values

P. Alpert*, T. Ben-Gai, A. Baharad, Y. Benjamini, D. Yekutieli, M. Colacino, L. Diodato, C. Ramis, V. Homar, R. Romero, S. Michaelides, A. Manes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Earlier reports indicated some specific isolated regions exhibiting a paradoxical increase of extreme rainfall in spite of decrease in the totals. Here, we conduct a coherent study of the full-scale of daily rainfall categories over a relatively large subtropical region- the Mediterranean- in order to assess whether this paradoxical behavior is real and its extent. We show that the torrential rainfall in Italy exceeding 128 mm/d has increased percentage-wise by a factor of 4 during 1951-1995 with strong peaks in El-Nino years. In Spain, extreme categories at both tails of the distribution (light: 0-4 mm/d and heavy/torrential: 64 mm/d and up) increased significantly. No significant trends were found in Israel and Cyprus. The consequent redistribution of the daily rainfall categories -torrential/heavy against the moderate/light intensities - is of utmost interest particularly in the semi-arid sub-tropical regions for purposes of water management, soil erosion and flash floods impacts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-1-31-4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume29
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2002

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