ISO Abbrev. Title: Pol. J. Environ. Stud.
Vol. 25, No. 6 (2016), 2283-2292
Estimating Trends and Return Periods of Daily
Extreme Precipitation Associated with Tropical
Cyclones in the Core North American Monsoon
Omar Llanes Cárdenas1, Mariano Norzagaray Campos1, Patricia Muñoz Sevilla2,
Rosario Ruiz Guerrero3, Héctor A. González Ocampo1, María N. Herrera Moreno1
1Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Centro Interdisciplinario de Investigación para el Desarrollo Integral Regional unidad
Sinaloa (CIIDIR−IPN−Sinaloa), Boulevard Juan de Diós Bátiz Paredes 250, Guasave, Sinaloa, México
2Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Centro Interdisciplinario de Investigaciones y Estudios sobre Medio Ambiente y
Desarrollo (CIIEMAD), Calle 30 de Junio de 1520 s/n, barrio la Laguna Ticomán C.P. 07340,
Del. Gustavo A. Madero, Ciudad de México, México
3Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Centro de Investigación e Innovación Tecnológica (CIITEC),
Cerrada de Cecati s/n. Col. Santa Catarina, Azcapotzalco, Ciudad de México, México, C.P. 02250
Abstract: The largest number of tropical cyclones (TCs) is generated in the northeastern Pacific Basin. These storms
can produce extreme precipitation (EP) in northwestern Mexico, causing loss of life and environmental
damage. It is important to understand the dynamics that cause the EP associated with TCs, since most human
activity requires planning to adjust to the dynamics of local climate changes. Therefore, in this work the goal
was to estimate the trends and return periods of the average annual daily extreme precipitation (AADEP;
95th percentile, P95) in the June-September season in the core North American monsoon. To do this, daily
precipitation data from 1961 to 2000 from 48 climate computing (CLICOM) weather stations located in the
core of the North American monsoon were used to determine AADEP:
1. Non-parametric trends with Mann-Kendall tests and Sen’s slope estimator.
2. Linear trends of annual averages of 95 (P95) and 99 (P99) percentiles with the least squares method.
3. Return periods with the Gumbel frequency distribution function. The results disclose a significant
upward trend in the intensity of P95 increases in mountain stations, which may be related to a
greater contribution of precipitation associated with TCs.
The seasonal contribution of P95 in coastal stations and the total monsoon precipitation did not show
statistical significance at α = 0.05. The return periods of P95 associated and not associated with TC’s
from 2005 to 2500 were calculated. Return periods of P99 have been rising since 2010 and will continue
to 2500. For P95 events associated with TCs, the anomalies are expressed with synoptic conditions of
simultaneous positive anomalies in the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (+PDO), negative anomalies in the
Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (-AMO), weak La Niña in the eastern equatorial Pacific, positives in
Caribbean Sea temperatures (SST>28.5ºC) and a strong land-sea thermal contrast in northwestern Mexico.
The synoptic conditions were created two weeks before the start of TCs. This work sheds new light on the
dynamics of return periods of EP and P95 trends associated with TCs, and on current and future simultaneity
between anomalies of the +PDO and -AMO, which are essential characteristics for knowledge of TC for one
of the regions most affected by these phenomena worldwide.
Keywords: Pacific Decadal Oscillation, return periods, P95th percentile, tropical cyclones
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