Identifying hydro-meteorological events from precipitation extremes indices and other sources over northern Namibia, Cuvelai Basin

Jamba. 2015 Oct 30;7(1):177. doi: 10.4102/jamba.v7i1.177. eCollection 2015.


Worldwide, more than 40% of all natural hazards and about half of all deaths are the result of flood disasters. In northern Namibia flood disasters have increased dramatically over the past half-century, along with associated economic losses and fatalities. There is a growing concern to identify these extreme precipitation events that result in many hydro-meteorological disasters. This study presents an up to date and broad analysis of the trends of hydro-meteorological events using extreme daily precipitation indices, daily precipitation data from the Grootfontein rainfall station (1917-present), regionally averaged climatologies from the gauged gridded Climate Research Unit (CRU) product, archived disasters by global disaster databases, published disaster events in literature as well as events listed by Mendelsohn, Jarvis and Robertson (2013) for the data-sparse Cuvelai river basin (CRB). The listed events that have many missing data gaps were used to reference and validate results obtained from other sources in this study. A suite of ten climate change extreme precipitation indices derived from daily precipitation data (Grootfontein rainfall station), were calculated and analysed. The results in this study highlighted years that had major hydro-meteorological events during periods where no data are available. Furthermore, the results underlined decrease in both the annual precipitation as well as the annual total wet days of precipitation, whilst it found increases in the longest annual dry spell indicating more extreme dry seasons. These findings can help to improve flood risk management policies by providing timely information on historic hydro-meteorological hazard events that are essential for early warning and forecasting.

Publication types

  • Review