Synthetic precipitation time series for the optimal design and operation of urban drainage systems (SYNOPSE)

Lead: Harald Kunstmann

Project scientists: Sven Wagner (IMK-IFU), Andreas Wagner, Manuel Lorenz

To increase the planning dependability of urban drainage systems, it is necessary to have access to long time series of meteorological input data in high spatial and temporal resolution for the hydraulic modeling. Reliable precipitation estimates are of utmost importance because extreme events lead to high stress on the channels. As a change in future precipitation fields is excepcted as a consequence of the climate change, huge uncertainties arise when it comes to planning the technical sites.

The Chair for Regional Climate and Hydrology contributes to the SYNOPSE project - complementarily to the stochastic methods of the University of Stuttgart and the University of Hannover - with the sub-project Dynamic-stochastic methods for the generation of spatiotemporally coherent und highly resolving meteorological fields.


This sub-project's goal is the generation of time series of the current and future precipitation with the regional climate model WRF. To validate the model, gauges and radar data are being used in order to study the realistic reproduction of the amount and spatiotemporal patterns of the generated rainfall. Through this, knowledge about the scale-dependency of regional climate models will be gained, too.

Additionally, geostatistical methods are used and developed to correct the model and transfer it to the desired resolution (1x1 km, 5 minutes). The focus lies on copula-based methods because they allow for a flexible representation of the dependency structure of spatially and temporally distributed variables. Again, the techniques are developed based on a control period. A modified version is then used to estimate the future rainfall.

A better understanding of the spread and errors of physical models and stochastic methods is aspired by combining and comparing the two different approaches. This in turn will lead to a safer estimation of the future meteorological fields.

This project is funded by the BMBF within the program INIS - Intelligent and multi-functional infrastructure systems for a sustainable water supply and wastewater disposal.

Further information:

INIS website (German)