loading page

Discharge and Floods Projected to Increase More Than Precipitation Extremes
  • +2
  • Felipe Quintero Duque,
  • Gabriele Villarini,
  • Andreas Prein,
  • Wei Zhang,
  • Witold Krajewski
Felipe Quintero Duque
The University of Iowa

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

Author Profile
Gabriele Villarini
The University of Iowa
Author Profile
Andreas Prein
National Center for Atmospheric Research
Author Profile
Wei Zhang
Utah State University
Author Profile
Witold Krajewski
The University of Iowa
Author Profile


Floods claim a high toll in fatalities and economic impacts. Despite their societal relevance, there is much more to learn about the projected changes in discharge and flooding. Here we force an operational hydrologic model over the state of Iowa with high-resolution convection-permitting climate-model precipitation to evaluate the response of 140 watersheds to climate change. At the end of the century, under the most aggressive scenario in terms of fossil fuel use, we show that the transition from snow to rainfall and a ~30% increase in extreme precipitation rates lead to a doubling of maximum discharge during the spring and extended the flood season into the fall. Total discharge volumes are also expected to increase. Our results suggest that flood projections based on extreme precipitation increases alone substantially underestimate future risk due to the nonlinearity of the hydrologic response explained by long-term soil moisture memory and its feedbacks with precipitation.
13 Jun 2022Submitted to Hydrological Processes
14 Jun 2022Submission Checks Completed
14 Jun 2022Assigned to Editor
14 Jun 2022Reviewer(s) Assigned
28 Sep 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
28 Sep 2022Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
03 Oct 20221st Revision Received
06 Oct 2022Submission Checks Completed
06 Oct 2022Assigned to Editor
06 Oct 2022Reviewer(s) Assigned
06 Oct 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
06 Oct 2022Editorial Decision: Accept