Precipitation extremes over La Plata Basin - Review and new results from observations and climate simulations
Monthly and daily precipitation extremes over La Plata Basin (LPB) are analyzed in the framework of the CLARIS-LPB Project. A review of the studies developed during the project and results of additional research are presented and discussed. Specific aspects of analysis are focused on large-scale versus local processes impacts on the intensity and frequency of precipitation extremes over LPB, and on the assessment of specific wet and dry spell indices and their changed characteristics in future climate scenarios. The analysis is shown for both available observations of precipitation in the region and ad-hoc global and regional models experiments. The Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans can all impact precipitation intensity and frequency over LPB. In particular, considering the Pacific sector, different types of ENSO events (i.e. canonical vs Modoki or East vs Central) have different influences. Moreover, model projections indicate an increase in the frequency of precipitation extremes over LPB during El Niño and La Ninã events in future climate. Local forcings can also be important for precipitation extremes. Here, the feedbacks between soil moisture and extreme precipitation in LPB are discussed based on hydric conditions in the region and model sensitivity experiments. Concerning droughts, it was found that they were more frequent in the western than in the eastern sector of LPB during the period of 1962-2008. On the other hand, observations and model experiments agree in that the monthly wet extremes were more frequent than the dry extremes in the northern and southern LPB sectors during the period 1979-2001, with higher frequency in the south.