16 September 2017

Climatological Characteristics of Typical Daily Precipitation


The metrics are applied to two gridded, global (or near-global) observational precipitation datasets. The spatial pattern and seasonal cycle of rain frequency peak is similar to total precipitation. In contrast, the rain amount peak varies distinctly from total precipitation. This indicates that typical rainfall events in a particular location and season are not related to the long-term average rainfall. Differences between the observational datasets for the characteristics of typical precipitation are highlighted and also compared with precipitation simulated by a climate model.


In this study, we develop metrics to quantify typical daily precipitation, which are distilled from the distribution of precipitation. These metrics include the rain amount peak (the rain rate at which the most rain falls), rain frequency peak (the most frequent nonzero rain rate), and rain amount width (a measure of the variability of typical precipitation accumulation). 


Characteristics of precipitation that are quantified most often include the long-term average, extreme precipitation, and precipitation frequency. 

Angie Pendergrass
National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)
Deser, C.  2017.  "Climatological Characteristics of Typical Daily Precipitation."  Journal of Climate 30(15): 5985-6003.  https://doi.org/10.1175/jcli-d-16-0684.1.