Potential changes in climate are expected to lead to future changes in the characteristics of precipitation events, including extreme rainfall intensity in most regions. In order for government agencies and design engineers to incorporate these trends and future changes into assessment and design processes, tools for planning and design should be capable of considering nonstationary climate conditions. In this work, potential changes are investigated in intensity–duration–frequency (IDF) curves, which are often used for assessment of extreme rainfall events, using historic data and future climate projections. An approach is proposed for calculating IDF curves that incorporates projected changes in rainfall intensity at a range of locations in the United States. The results elucidate strong regional patterns in projected changes in rainfall intensity, which are influenced by the rainfall characteristics of the region. Therefore, impacts of climate change on extreme hydrologic events will be highly regional and thus such assessments should be performed for specific project locations.
- areal reduction factor
- climate change
- intensity–duration–frequency (IDF) relationships
- North American Regional Climate Change Assessment Program
- Received September 22, 2011.
- Accepted December 9, 2011.
- © IWA Publishing 2012