Biological and Environmental Research - Earth and Environmental System Sciences
Earth and Environmental System Modeling

Observed Warm‐Season Characteristics of MCS and Non‐MCS Rainfall and Their Recent Changes in the Central United States

TitleObserved Warm‐Season Characteristics of MCS and Non‐MCS Rainfall and Their Recent Changes in the Central United States
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume47
Number6
Abstract / Summary

Warm‐season rainfall characteristics in the central United States are investigated as they play important roles in ecohydrology and agricultural productivity. Using rainfall observations, we compare the April–August mesoscale convective systems (MCS) and non‐MCS rainfall characteristics and examine their linear trends between 1997 and 2018. MCS rainfall is found to be approximately seven times more intense than non‐MCS rainfall but it occurs less frequently in time and space. MCS rainfall peaks in nocturnal hours, with synchronized timing of rainfall intensity, area, and occurrence, while non‐MCS rainfall peaks in late‐afternoon hours, mostly attributed to the timing of peak rainfall area. MCS rainfall has increased in the last 22 years due to an increase in frequency and a longer duration per MCS. In contrast, non‐MCS rainfall has decreased mainly due to a reduction in rainfall area, leading to fewer total wet days and increased dry intervals between events.

URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2019gl086783
DOI10.1029/2019gl086783
Journal: Geophysical Research Letters
Year of Publication: 2020
Volume: 47
Number: 6
Publication Date: 03/2020

Warm‐season rainfall characteristics in the central United States are investigated as they play important roles in ecohydrology and agricultural productivity. Using rainfall observations, we compare the April–August mesoscale convective systems (MCS) and non‐MCS rainfall characteristics and examine their linear trends between 1997 and 2018. MCS rainfall is found to be approximately seven times more intense than non‐MCS rainfall but it occurs less frequently in time and space. MCS rainfall peaks in nocturnal hours, with synchronized timing of rainfall intensity, area, and occurrence, while non‐MCS rainfall peaks in late‐afternoon hours, mostly attributed to the timing of peak rainfall area. MCS rainfall has increased in the last 22 years due to an increase in frequency and a longer duration per MCS. In contrast, non‐MCS rainfall has decreased mainly due to a reduction in rainfall area, leading to fewer total wet days and increased dry intervals between events.

DOI: 10.1029/2019gl086783
Citation:
Hu, H, L Leung, and Z Feng.  2020.  "Observed Warm‐Season Characteristics of MCS and Non‐MCS Rainfall and Their Recent Changes in the Central United States."  Geophysical Research Letters 47(6).  https://doi.org/10.1029/2019gl086783.