Projected changes in intense precipitation over Europe at the daily and subdaily time scales

Enrico Scoccimarro, Gabriele Villarini, Marcello Vichi, Matteo Zampieri, Pier Giuseppe Fogli, Alessio Bellucci, Silvio Gualdi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Heavy precipitation is a major hazard over Europe. It is well established that climate model projections indicate a tendency toward more extreme daily rainfall events. It is still uncertain, however, how this changing intensity translates at the subdaily time scales. The main goal of the present study is to examine possible differences in projected changes in intense precipitation events over Europe at the daily and subdaily (3-hourly) time scales using a state-of-the-science climate model. The focus will be on one representative concentration pathway (RCP8.5), considered as illustrative of a high rate of increase in greenhouse gas concentrations over this century. There are statistically significant differences in intense precipitation projections (up to 40%) when comparing the results at the daily and subdaily time scales. Over northeastern Europe, projected precipitation intensification at the 3-hourly scale is lower than at the daily scale. On the other hand, Spain and the western seaboard exhibit an opposite behavior, with stronger intensification at the 3-hourly scale rather than the daily scale. While the mean properties of the precipitation distributions are independent of the analyzed frequency, projected precipitation intensification exhibits regional differences. This finding has implications for the extrapolation of impacts of intense precipitation events, given the daily time scale at which the analyses are usually performed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6193-6203
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Climate
Issue number15
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


  • Climate change
  • Climate models
  • Europe
  • Extreme events
  • Model output statistics


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