Karin van der Wiel

www.karinvanderwiel.nl | wiel@knmi.nl | +31 (0)30 2206 783




Hi, I'm Karin.

I work as a postdoctoral research scientist at the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI).

My general research interests include atmospheric dynamics, atmosphere-ocean interactions, extreme events, regional weather and the impact of weather on society. Most of my research focuses is on how internal climate variability and climate change might impact these topics.

I hope to contribute to increasing our understanding of Earth’s weather and climate in a way that is useful for society.

Please be in contact with any questions, requests for PDFs of publications or anything else.


Research projects

Extreme precipitation

Mild weather

Diagonal convergence zones


Converging sea breezes


Publications

Peer-reviewed

xiii. L Krishnamurthy, GA Vecchi, X Yang, K van der Wiel, V Balaji, SB Kapnick, L Jia, F Zeng, K Paffendorf, S Underwood (2018): Causes and probability of occurrence of extreme precipitation events like Chennai 2015. Journal of Climate, 31, pp. 3831–3848.

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xii. FEL Otto, K van der Wiel, GJ van Oldenborgh, S Philip, S Kew, P Uhe, H Cullen (2018): Climate change increases the probability of heavy rains in Northern England/Southern Scotland like those of storm Desmond - a real-time event attribution revisited. Environmental Research Letters, 13, pp. 024006.

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xi.  GJ van Oldenborgh, K van der Wiel, A Sebastian, R Singh, J Arrighi, FEL Otto, K Haustein, S Li, GA Vecchi, H Cullen (2017): Attribution of extreme rainfall from Hurricane Harvey, August 2017. Environmental Research Letters, 12, pp. 124009. Featured article.

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x. K van der Wiel, ST Gille, SG Llewellyn Smith, PF Linden, C Cenedese (2017): Characteristics of colliding sea breeze gravity current fronts: a laboratory study. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 143, pp. 1434-1441.

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ix. K van der Wiel, SB Kapnick, GJ van Oldenborgh, K Whan, S Philip, GA Vecchi, RK Singh, J Arrighi, H Cullen (2017): Rapid attribution of the August 2016 flood-inducing extreme precipitation in south Louisiana to climate change. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 21, pp. 897-921. Highlighted article.

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A stationary low pressure system and elevated levels of precipitable water provided a nearly continuous source of precipitation over Louisiana, United States (US), starting around 10 August 2016. Precipitation was heaviest in the region broadly encompassing the city of Baton Rouge, with a 3-day maximum found at a station in Livingston, LA (east of Baton Rouge), from 12 to 14 August 2016 (648.3 mm, 25.5 inches). The intense precipitation was followed by inland flash flooding and river flooding and in subsequent days produced additional backwater flooding. On 16 August, Louisiana officials reported that 30 000 people had been rescued, nearly 10 600 people had slept in shelters on the night of 14 August and at least 60 600 homes had been impacted to varying degrees. As of 17 August, the floods were reported to have killed at least 13 people. As the disaster was unfolding, the Red Cross called the flooding the worst natural disaster in the US since Super Storm Sandy made landfall in New Jersey on 24 October 2012. Before the floodwaters had receded, the media began questioning whether this extreme event was caused by anthropogenic climate change. To provide the necessary analysis to understand the potential role of anthropogenic climate change, a rapid attribution analysis was launched in real time using the best readily available observational data and high-resolution global climate model simulations.
The objective of this study is to show the possibility of performing rapid attribution studies when both observational and model data and analysis methods are readily available upon the start. It is the authors' aspiration that the results be used to guide further studies of the devastating precipitation and flooding event. Here, we present a first estimate of how anthropogenic climate change has affected the likelihood of a comparable extreme precipitation event in the central US Gulf Coast. While the flooding event of interest triggering this study occurred in south Louisiana, for the purposes of our analysis, we have defined an extreme precipitation event by taking the spatial maximum of annual 3-day inland maximum precipitation over the region of 29-31° N, 85-95° W, which we refer to as the central US Gulf Coast. Using observational data, we find that the observed local return time of the 12–14 August precipitation event in 2016 is about 550 years (95 % confidence interval (CI): 450-1450). The probability for an event like this to happen anywhere in the region is presently 1 in 30 years (CI 11-110). We estimate that these probabilities and the intensity of extreme precipitation events of this return time have increased since 1900. A central US Gulf Coast extreme precipitation event has effectively become more likely in 2016 than it was in 1900. The global climate models tell a similar story; in the most accurate analyses, the regional probability of 3-day extreme precipitation increases by more than a factor of 1.4 due to anthropogenic climate change. The magnitude of the shift in probabilities is greater in the 25 km (higher-resolution) climate model than in the 50 km model. The evidence for a relation to El Niño half a year earlier is equivocal, with some analyses showing a positive connection and others none.

viii. K van der Wiel, SB Kapnick, GA Vecchi (2017): Shifting patterns of mild weather in response to projected radiative forcing. Climatic Change, 140, pp. 649-658.

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vii. K van der Wiel, SB Kapnick, GA Vecchi, WF Cooke, TL Delworth, L Jia, H Murakami, S Underwood, F Zeng (2016): The resolution dependence of contiguous U.S. precipitation extremes in response to CO2 forcing. Journal of Climate, 29, pp. 7991-8012.

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vi. MA Stiller-Reeve, C Heuzé, WT Ball, RH White, G Messori, K van der Wiel, I Medhaug, AH Eckes, A O'Callaghan, MJ Newland, SR Williams, M Kasoar, HE Wittmeier and V Kumer (2016): Improving together: better science writing through peer learning. Hydrology and Earth System Science, 20, pp. 2965-2973.

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v. K van der Wiel, AJ Matthews, MM Joshi, DP Stevens (2016): The influence of diabatic heating in the South Pacific Convergence Zone on Rossby wave propagation and the mean flow. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 142, pp. 901-910.

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iv. K van der Wiel, AJ Matthews, MM Joshi, DP Stevens (2016): Why the South Pacific Convergence Zone is diagonal. Climate Dynamics, 46, pp. 1683-1698.

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iii. K van der Wiel, AJ Matthews, DP Stevens, MM Joshi (2015): A dynamical framework for the origin of the diagonal South Pacific and South Atlantic Convergence Zones. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 141, pp. 1997-2010. Featured article.

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ii. MM Joshi, M Stringer, K van der Wiel, A O'Callaghan, S Fueglistaler (2015): IGCM4: A fast, parallel and flexible intermediate climate model. Geoscientific Model Development, 8, pp. 1157-1167.

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i. W Hazeleger, X Wang, C Severijns, S Ştefănescu, R Bintanja, A Sterl, K Wyser, T Semmler, S Yang, B van den Hurk, T van Noije, E van der Linden, K van der Wiel (2012): EC-Earth V2.2: description and validation of a new seamless earth system prediction model. Climate Dynamics, 39, pp. 2611-2629.

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Curriculum Vitae

A pdf-version of my C.V. is available here.

Contact

Dr Karin van der Wiel
Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute
Postbus 201
3730 AE De Bilt
Netherlands

Phone: +31 (0)30 2206 783
E-mail: wiel@knmi.nl

Google Scholar: list of publications
ResearchGate: personal profile
Twitter: karin_vdwiel