Project 2 - Atmospheric drivers of extreme floods

Bodo Ahrens, Amelie Krug and Moritz Kirschner
Institute for Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, Goethe University Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main

Extreme precipitation is the main atmospheric driver of extreme floods. Processes leading to heavy precipitation are controlled by preceding and ongoing weather. They are amplified by local factors such as frontal activity, convective and orographic processes. Furthermore, climate variability controls the weather at synoptic scales by modifying the frequencies of weather types or typical cyclone paths. Therefore, the prerequisites of extreme floods are not only influenced on a local scale but also on a large scale. Hence, the study of atmospheric factors driving to extreme flood events implies the analyses of multi-processes and multiple-scales.

Our research will focus on these aspects. The aim of the SPATE project is to provide a multi-scale and multiprocess point of view, based on robust statistics, to better understand which atmospheric factors lead to extreme flood events, what are possible future flood extremes and what is their predictability.


Akhtar, N., A. Krug, J. Brauch, T. Arsouze, C. Dieterich, B. Ahrens. European Marginal Seas in a regional atmosphere-ocean coupled model and their impact on Vb-cyclones and associated precipitation. Clim. Dyn., 2019.
Krug, A., Primo, C., Fischer, S., Schumann, A. & Ahrens, B. On the temporal variability of widespread rain-on-snow floods. Meteorol. Zeitschrift (2020). https://doi:10.1127/metz/2020/0989
Pothapakula, P.K., C. Primo Ramos, B. Ahrens. Quantification of information exchange in idealized and climate system applications. Entropy, 21(11), 1094., 2019.
Primo, C., F.D. Kelemen, H. Feldmann, B. Ahrens. A regional atmosphere-ocean climate system model (CCLMv5.0clm7-NEMOv3.3-NEMOv3.6) over Europe including three marginal seas: on its stability and performance. Geosci. Model Dev., 12, 5077–5095., 2019.