Modelling urban stormwater management changes using SWMM and convection-permitting climate simulations in cold areas

Ottar Tamm*, Teemu Kokkonen, Lassi Warsta, Maria Dubovik, Harri Koivusalo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
87 Downloads (Pure)


Urbanization coupled with climate change is expected to put pressure on the urban stormwater network. To predict and mitigate the effects of these trends, accurate modeling of urban stormwater changes is required at scales and resolutions meaningful to stormwater management. Although numerous studies have analyzed the effect of climate change on urban flooding risk using the event-based approach, none have incorporated the continuous modelling approach to investigate the whole spectrum of changes in an urban catchment. This study analyzes seasonal changes in future urban hydrological behavior using a mini-ensemble of six state-of-the-art climate model projections and a calibrated hydrological-hydraulic Storm Water Management Model (SWMM). The modelling results show future changes in seasonal and monthly hydrological behavior. The notable winter warming is the major driver in the future snow processes, resulting in considerably less snow days and an increase in the flow events frequency during the winter months. The modelling results also suggest an increase in the annual maximum hourly flow in all seasons, with the clearest trend modelled in winter. Monthly average runoff during the cold period is modelled to increase, while no clear trends are detected for the rest of the year. There is a clear added benefit in using convection-permitting regional climate models throughout the year. Overall, the climate change mitigation and adaption strategies in urban catchments should focus more on the whole spectrum of changes rather than only on urban pluvial flooding risk. These findings call for a transition from traditional to a more advanced stormwater management.

Original languageEnglish
Article number129656
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Hydrology
Volume622, part A
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Climate change impact
  • Finland
  • Nordic conditions
  • RCM
  • Urban flooding


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