The Extreme Rainfall Research Program of the Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes (CLEX) held a workshop on October 4 at the University of New South Wales (Sydney). There were 30 participants representing the CLEX nodes, Bureau of Meteorology, CSIRO, NSW Office of Environment and Heritage and National Centre for Atmospheric Research. The workshop consisted of a series of 10-minute overview talks followed by discussion with each session focussing on each of the RP project questions:

  • Project 1.1: How do changes in the background state (circulation and moisture content) control extreme rainfall on the regional scale?
  • Project 1.2: What processes underlie the spatial and temporal organisation of convective systems that lead to extreme rainfall?
  • Project 1.3: How do tropical to mid-latitude interactions control Australia’s rainfall extremes?
  • Project 1.4: How well do climate models represent rainfall extremes and how can their simulation be improved?

A broad discussion at the end of the day focused on where any gaps were in the Research Program, including the types and amount of data and modelling simulations we need and at what space and time resolution to address these questions. We always came back to the idea that our focus should be on understanding processes.

We also discussed potential future PhD projects and there was general agreement that we needed to have some focused analysis on the Australian region to provide guidance on the use of products that could be used to assess rainfall extremes.

The workshop was a great opportunity for us to get an overview of the work that is ongoing in the Extreme Rainfall RP projects and to make connections and form collaborations not only within the RP but also to other RPs.