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Title: Forecasting Magnitude and Frequency of Seasonal Streamflow Extremes Using a Bayesian Hierarchical Framework

We develop a space‐time Bayesian hierarchical modeling (BHM) framework for two flood risk attributes—seasonal daily maximum flow and the number of events that exceed a threshold during a season (NEETM)—at a suite of gauge locations on a river network. The model uses generalized extreme value (GEV) and Poisson distributions as marginals for these flood attributes with non‐stationary parameters. The rate parameters of the Poisson distribution and location, scale, and shape parameters of the GEV are modeled as linear functions of suitable covariates. Gaussian copulas are applied to capture the spatial dependence. The best covariates are selected using the Watanabe‐Akaike information criterion (WAIC). The modeling framework results in the posterior distribution of the flood attributes at all the gauges and various lead times. We demonstrate the utility of this modeling framework to forecast the flood risk attributes during the summer peak monsoon season (July‐August) at five gauges in the Narmada River basin (NRB) of West‐Central India for several lead times (0–3 months). As potential covariates, we consider climate indices such as El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO), the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), and the Pacific Warm Pool Region (PWPR) from antecedent seasons, which have shown strong teleconnections with the Indian monsoon. We also include new indices related to the East Pacific and West Indian Ocean regions depending on the lead times. We show useful long lead skill from this modeling approach which has a strong potential to enable robust risk‐based flood mitigation and adaptation strategies 3 months before flood occurrences.

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DOI PREFIX: 10.1029
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Journal Name:
Water Resources Research
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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