Project properties

Title Extreme precipitation and its relationship with dew-point temperature at a global scale
Group Hydrology and Quantitative Water Management Group
Project type thesis
Credits 36
Supervisor(s) Albrecht Weerts and Frederiek Sperna Weiland (Deltares)
Examiner(s) Remko Uijlenhoet
Contact info Albrecht Weerts
Begin date 2019/09/25
End date
Description Dew-point temperature as an estimator of rainfall extremes

In the last decade, the relationship between dew-point temperature and extreme precipitation has gained increased attention. Several studies established a relationship between extreme precipitation and dew-point temperature for a set of geographies: USA (Mishra et al. 2012), Australia (Wasko et al. 2018), and Netherlands (Lenderink and Van Meijgaard, 2008). Although the impact of preceding dew-point temperature on the intensity of precipitation events is agreed upon in certain areas, there are still many questions to be answered. These questions range from the physical aspects of the relationship between dewpoint temperature and precipitation intensity, to questions on the applicability of this relationship towards future precipitation scenario’s under climate change. Additionally, most of these studies focused on daily precipitation extremes, while little attention is brought to the intraday temporal scale which is specifically important at urban levels.

The focus of the research would be a global analysis of dew-point temperature and extreme precipitation taking Ali et al. (2018) as a starting point, while working towards:
- creating a global data set using e.g. the Global Summary of the Day (GSOD) and the European Climate Assessment &Dataset (ECA&D);
- addressing the physical differences in the relationship related to geographies and climate type;
- developing a statistical protocol to automatically estimate the relationship, considering uncertainties and transition points (instead of linear regression)
- exploring the potential to move from daily to intraday by using re-analysis data (e.g. ERA5) as this is more important for urban hydrology and design principles;
- establishing Intensity-Duration-Frequency curves for a set of future dew-point temperature increases; and
- creating an interactive visualization of the results.

The study will be carried out in collaboration with the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) and the German Climate Service Center (GERICS). Deltares will provide daily supervising. This research will build on earlier work published in Dahm et al. (2019).
We are looking for MSc-students with a background in meteorology or hydrology, proficient with Python, and willing to work at Deltares (Delft) for at least 3days/week. We offer daily supervising and a monthly allowance.
Interested to work on this MSc-research? Please contact Frederiek Sperna Weiland (

Ali, H., Fowler, H.J., Mishra, V. Global observational evidence of strong linkage between dew point temperature and precipitation extremes. Geophysical Research Letters. 2018. 45, 12,320–12,330.
Dahm, R., Bhardwaj, A., Sperna Weiland, F., Corzo, G., Bouwer, L.M. A Temperature-Scaling Approach for Projecting Changes in Short Duration Rainfall Extremes from GCM Data. Water 2019, 11, 313.
Lenderink, G.; Van Meijgaard, E. Increase in hourly precipitation extremes beyond expectations from temperature changes. Nat. Geosci. 2008, 1, 511–514.
Wasko, C., Lu, W.T., Mehrotra, R. Relationship of extreme precipitation, dry-bulb temperature, and dew point temperature across Australia. Environ. Res. Lett. 2018. 13, 074031.

Used skills python