Spatiotemporal Analysis of Extreme Precipitation in the Southern Great Plains Hydroclimate Region

Paul Xavier Flanagan, Rezaul Mahmood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The southern Great Plains (SGP) is defined by hydrometeorological swings between dry and wet extremes. These swings exacerbate the climatological gradients of moisture (from east to west) and temperature (from south to north), which can impact the agricultural production of the region. Thus, it is key to understand extremes to sustainably maintain agricultural success in the region. This study investigates the wet extremes, or extreme precipitation events, that have become more prominent in the last two decades. Data from 108 U.S. Historical Climatology Network stations were analyzed for the 1950–2020 period to detect changes in the frequency and magnitude of extreme precipitation events. Results show that changes in the magnitude of extreme precipitation are isolated and scattered across the SGP, with only the winter season showing regional shifts in extreme precipitation magnitude. Changes in the frequency of extreme precipitation events were noted across the entire SGP, although the changes in frequency are more notable in the eastern SGP than in the western SGP. Analysis shows that the increased number of events detected is driven more, but not exclusively, by the increasing spatial extent of individual extreme precipitation events than by an increased number of events. Overall, these results depict the changing nature of extreme precipitation within the SGP and differences in extreme precipitation between the eastern and western SGP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)393-409
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Extreme events
  • Precipitation
  • Trends

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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