Analysis of Climatological Rainfall Extremes over the Kennedy Space Center Complex Using a High-Density Observational Network
This study uses extreme-value theory to analyze a short-period (15-year), high-density rainfall dataset from NASA Kennedy Space Center's observational network. This data was acquired through the Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission archive website. We employed the National Center for Atmospheric Research's Extremes statistical software package for the analysis of 24-hour rainfall at the locations of the 32 tipping-bucket gauges in the network. This type of analysis is highly sensitive to data that may have been misreported, invalid, or missing, therefore, additional quality control was required. The quality-controlled rainfall gauge data was subsequently gridded using a Barnes-style objective analysis with minimal smoothing, in order to estimate missing values while preserving maxima in the initial data. The high-resolution gridded rainfall data was used by the Extremes program to produce a series of event-return periods for different extreme rainfall-event thresholds over the study region.
Additional work includes a stratification of the rainfall data by season (dry and wet), and an extreme-value analysis of temperatures over the region. Even slight changes in mean temperature greatly affect energy usage, and knowledge of extremes can facilitate both smart infrastructure maintenance and planning as well as influence accurate budget allocations.