Trend Pattern of Heavy and Intense Rainfall Events in Colombia from 1981-2018: A Trend-EOF Approach

Wilmar L. Cerón, Rita V. Andreoli, Mary T. Kayano, Teresita Canchala, Camilo Ocampo-Marulanda, Alvaro Avila-Diaz, Jean Antunes

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch Articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The Andes mountain range divides Colombia into various climatic regions over the country, as the Andean, Caribbean, Pacific, Amazon, and Orinoco regions. Given this scenario, knowing the current change in total precipitation and their extremes values are relevant. In this study, the main goal is to assess the spatio-temporal trends of heavy and intense rainfall at a seasonal scale during the last 38 years (1981-2018) using the trend empirical orthogonal function (TEOF). An increase in maximum precipitation during five consecutive days (RX5day), Simple daily intensity index (SDII), and the number of days with precipitation above 20 mm (R20mm) and 30 mm (R30mm) during December-February and March-May was observed in most of the Colombian territory, except for the Amazon region for RX5day. A decrease in total rainfall in June-August was observed in the Andean, the Caribbean, and southern Pacific regions, while, in the northern Pacific, it increased, consistent with the trend patterns of RX5day, SDII, and R20mm. During September-November, there was a reduction in rainfall in the Amazon region and the South Pacific, and an increase in RX5day, SDII, R20mm, and R30mm in the Andean, the Caribbean, and North Pacific regions. The TEOF showed more pronounced spatial trend patterns than those obtained with the traditional Mann-Kendall test. The findings offer a better understanding of the climate extremes impacts in tropical latitudes and help planners to implement measures against the future effects of climate change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number156
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Atmospheric Science


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