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Extreme heat events in the Iberia Peninsula from extreme value mixture modeling of ERA5-Land air temperature

Barbosa, Susana ; Scotto, Manuel

Weather and Climate Extremes, 36 (2022), 100448

Extreme summer temperatures in the Iberia Peninsula are analyzed from ERA5-Land reanalysis data based on an extreme value mixture model combining a Normal distribution for the bulk distribution (i.e. for the non-extreme values) and a Generalized Pareto Distribution for the extremes in the upper tail. This approach allows to treat the threshold of temperature exceedances as being one of model parameters rather than fixed a priori, enabling to take into account its corresponding uncertainty. Extreme value mixture models are estimated individually for each location, and the analysis is performed separately for two distinct periods, namely from 1981 to 2000 and from 2000 to 2019, respectively. The results show significant differences in the extreme value mixture models for the two periods, and in their corresponding 20-year return levels. The mean of the bulk distribution of summer maximum temperature increases significantly, particularly in Eastern Iberia. The largest differences in the tails of the data distribution between the two periods occur in the eastern Mediterranean area, and are characterized by a significant increase in the threshold for temperature exceedances and in their corresponding return levels.