24 Oct 2022
24 Oct 2022
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Brief Communication: On the extremeness of the July 2021 precipitation event in western Germany

Katharina Lengfeld1, Paul Voit2, Frank Kaspar1, and Maik Heistermann2 Katharina Lengfeld et al.
  • 1Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD), Offenbach, Germany
  • 2Institute for Environmental Sciences and Geography, University of Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany

Abstract. The weather extremity index (WEI) and the cross-scale WEI (xWEI) are useful parameters for determining the extremeness of precipitation events. Both rely on the estimation of return periods and, therefore, the estimation of GEV parameters. When including the year 2021 in this estimation, the devastating event in July 2021 drops from first to fourth place regarding the WEI compared to all events between 2001 and 2020, but remains the most extreme regarding the xWEI. This emphasizes that it was extreme across multiple spatial and temporal scales, and the importance of considering different scales to determine the extremeness of rainfall events.

Katharina Lengfeld et al.

Status: open (until 15 Dec 2022)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-979', Anonymous Referee #1, 11 Nov 2022 reply
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-979', Marc Schleiss, 18 Nov 2022 reply

Katharina Lengfeld et al.

Katharina Lengfeld et al.


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Short summary
Estimating the severity of a rainfall event based on the damage caused is easy but highly depends on the affected region. A less biased measure for the extremeness of an event is its rarity combined with its spatial extend. In this brief communication, we investigate the sensitivity of such measures to the underlying dataset and highlight the importance of considering multiple spatial and temporal scales using the devastating rainfall event in July 2021 in Central Europe as an example.