Estimating Probable Maximum Precipitation by Considering Combined Effect of Typhoon and Southwesterly Air Flow

  • The combined effect of two weather systems is considered for estimating PMP
  • The results for PMP are more conservative for infrastructure safety
  • Two approaches proposed in the work are easier application to hydraulic engineers

Typhoon Morakot hit southern Taiwan in 2009, bringing 48-hr of heavy rainfall [close to the Probable Maximum Precipitation (PMP)] to the Tsengwen Reservoir catchment. This extreme rainfall event resulted from the combined (co-movement) effect of two climate systems (i.e., typhoon and southwesterly air flow). Based on the traditional PMP estimation method (i.e., the storm transposition method, STM), two PMP estimation approaches, i.e., Amplification Index (AI) and Independent System (IS) approaches, which consider the combined effect are proposed in this work. The AI approach assumes that the southwesterly air flow precipitation in a typhoon event could reach its maximum value. The IS approach assumes that the typhoon and southwesterly air flow are independent weather systems. Based on these assumptions, calculation procedures for the two approaches were constructed for a case study on the Tsengwen Reservoir catchment. The results show that the PMP estimates for 6- to 60-hr durations using the two approaches are approximately 30% larger than the PMP estimates using the traditional STM without considering the combined effect. This work is a pioneer PMP estimation method that considers the combined effect of a typhoon and southwesterly air flow. Further studies on this issue are essential and encouraged.

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