Future weather

Here we describe the results of the project Future Weather (which ran from 2009 to 2011). In Future Weather we investigated a number of impact relevant weather conditions in the (present and) future climate.

Future Weather has been financed by the national Dutch program Knowledge for Climate (KfC). The work has been carried out primarily by KNMI.

The impact of climate change will manifest itself in our future weather. Future Weather focused primarily on changes in precipitation extremes on different scales ranging from intense showers at local scales to multi-day precipitation extremes over the Rhine catchment area. We also considered a worst case scenario of a combined wind and discharge extreme. Besides quantitative results, we also put effort into understanding these extremes on a process level.

Noteworthy results are:

  1. Evidence that local shower intensities increase strongly with warming
  2. Determination of the relative importance of natural variations in comparison with climate change for multi-day precipitation extremes
  3. Evidence that the probability of a simultaneous occurrence of high river discharge and storm surge is a factor 4 higher than previously assumed.

During the execution of the project two (record breaking) extreme precipitation events occurred:

  1. On the 26 and 27 August 2010 more than 130 mm precipitation was recorded in the eastern part of the Netherlands, leading to severe local flooding.  
  2. On the 28 June 2011, during a severe shower, 79 mm of rain was recorded between 20 and 21 local time at the KNMI automatic observational station at Herwijnen.

Hourly precipitation amounts in Herwijnen on the 28 June 2011 were record high. The four highest observations in the Netherlands were all recorded after the year 2000.