Abstract

Here, we investigate the precipitation regionalization and the spatial variability of rainfall extremes, using a 47-year long station-based dataset from western central Morocco, a region with marked topographic and climatic variations. The principal component analysis revealed three homogeneous rainfall regimes, consistent with topographic features: the coastal area receives heavy rainfall during autumns and winters, whereas the inner lowlands, in the middle of the study area, are characterized by an overall rainfall deficit regardless of their high water demand for irrigation, and the highest rainfall amounts take place in the mid-mountain area, including the summer seasons. Furthermore, the frequency analysis of daily rainfall extremes revealed high ten-year precipitation amounts in the coastal region (about 88 mm) and exceptional daily precipitation for longer return periods (182 mm for a 100-year period). Using artificial neural networks, the spatialization of these extreme precipitation events shows that they increase from the plain to the Atlas mountains and especially from the plain to the Atlantic Ocean. The spatial distribution of extreme precipitation highlights the areas where stormwater management needs to be improved, such as efficient stormwater drainage, and where floods are more likely to take place in the future.

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