skip to main content
DOE PAGES title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Intermittency in Precipitation: Duration, Frequency, Intensity, and Amounts Using Hourly Data

Abstract

Abstract Intermittency is a core characteristic of precipitation, not well described by data and very poorly modeled. Detailed analyses are made of near-global gridded (about 1°) hourly or 3-hourly precipitation rates from two updated observational datasets [3-hourly TRMM 3B42, version 7, and hourly CMORPH, version 1.0, bias corrected (CRT)] and from special runs of CESM from January 1998 to December 2013 to obtain hourly values. The analyses explore the intermittency of precipitation: the frequency, intensity, duration, and amounts. A comparison is made for all products using several metrics with a focus on the duration of events, and a new metric is proposed based on the ratio of the frequency of precipitation at certain rates (0.2–2 mm h−1) for hourly versus 3-hourly versus daily data. For all seasons and rain rates, TRMM values are similar in pattern to CMORPH, but durations are about 80%–85%. It is mainly over land in the monsoons that CMORPH exceeds TRMM rain durations. Observed duration of precipitation events in CMORPH over oceans are 12–15 h in the tropics and subtropics, much less than the ~20 h for CESM. Hence, the observational results differ somewhat but both are considerably different from the model, which has too muchmore » precipitation overall, and it precipitates far too often at low rates and not enough for intense rates, with the divide about 1–2 mm h−1. There is a need to properly represent precipitation phenomena and processes either explicitly or implicitly (parameterized).« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [2]
  1. National Center for Atmospheric Research,a Boulder, Colorado
  2. CIRES, University of Colorado, Boulder, Boulder, Colorado
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC); National Science Foundation (NSF)
OSTI Identifier:
1352111
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1537028
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0012711
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Journal of Hydrometeorology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Journal of Hydrometeorology Journal Volume: 18 Journal Issue: 5; Journal ID: ISSN 1525-755X
Publisher:
American Meteorological Society
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Hydrologic cycle; Precipitation; Rainfall; Hydrometeorology; Coupled models; Model errors

Citation Formats

Trenberth, Kevin E., Zhang, Yongxin, and Gehne, Maria. Intermittency in Precipitation: Duration, Frequency, Intensity, and Amounts Using Hourly Data. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. https://doi.org/10.1175/JHM-D-16-0263.1.
Trenberth, Kevin E., Zhang, Yongxin, & Gehne, Maria. Intermittency in Precipitation: Duration, Frequency, Intensity, and Amounts Using Hourly Data. United States. https://doi.org/10.1175/JHM-D-16-0263.1
Trenberth, Kevin E., Zhang, Yongxin, and Gehne, Maria. Wed . "Intermittency in Precipitation: Duration, Frequency, Intensity, and Amounts Using Hourly Data". United States. https://doi.org/10.1175/JHM-D-16-0263.1.
@article{osti_1352111,
title = {Intermittency in Precipitation: Duration, Frequency, Intensity, and Amounts Using Hourly Data},
author = {Trenberth, Kevin E. and Zhang, Yongxin and Gehne, Maria},
abstractNote = {Abstract Intermittency is a core characteristic of precipitation, not well described by data and very poorly modeled. Detailed analyses are made of near-global gridded (about 1°) hourly or 3-hourly precipitation rates from two updated observational datasets [3-hourly TRMM 3B42, version 7, and hourly CMORPH, version 1.0, bias corrected (CRT)] and from special runs of CESM from January 1998 to December 2013 to obtain hourly values. The analyses explore the intermittency of precipitation: the frequency, intensity, duration, and amounts. A comparison is made for all products using several metrics with a focus on the duration of events, and a new metric is proposed based on the ratio of the frequency of precipitation at certain rates (0.2–2 mm h−1) for hourly versus 3-hourly versus daily data. For all seasons and rain rates, TRMM values are similar in pattern to CMORPH, but durations are about 80%–85%. It is mainly over land in the monsoons that CMORPH exceeds TRMM rain durations. Observed duration of precipitation events in CMORPH over oceans are 12–15 h in the tropics and subtropics, much less than the ~20 h for CESM. Hence, the observational results differ somewhat but both are considerably different from the model, which has too much precipitation overall, and it precipitates far too often at low rates and not enough for intense rates, with the divide about 1–2 mm h−1. There is a need to properly represent precipitation phenomena and processes either explicitly or implicitly (parameterized).},
doi = {10.1175/JHM-D-16-0263.1},
journal = {Journal of Hydrometeorology},
number = 5,
volume = 18,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {4}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record
https://doi.org/10.1175/JHM-D-16-0263.1

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 14 works
Citation information provided by
Web of Science

Save / Share:

Works referencing / citing this record:

Climate change impact on the hydrological budget of a large Mediterranean island
journal, July 2019


Climate change impact on the hydrological budget of a large Mediterranean island
journal, July 2019


A Review of Global Precipitation Data Sets: Data Sources, Estimation, and Intercomparisons
journal, January 2018

  • Sun, Qiaohong; Miao, Chiyuan; Duan, Qingyun
  • Reviews of Geophysics, Vol. 56, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1002/2017rg000574

The diurnal cycle of precipitation over South America represented by five gridded datasets
journal, August 2019

  • Giles, Julián A.; Ruscica, Romina C.; Menéndez, Claudio G.
  • International Journal of Climatology, Vol. 40, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1002/joc.6229

Detection, variability, and predictability of monsoon onset and withdrawal dates: A review
journal, August 2019

  • Bombardi, Rodrigo J.; Moron, Vincent; Goodnight, James S.
  • International Journal of Climatology, Vol. 40, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1002/joc.6264

Internet of Things in Water Management and Treatment
book, December 2019

  • Salam, Abdul
  • Internet of Things for Sustainable Community Development: Wireless Communications, Sensing, and Systems, p. 273-298
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-35291-2_9

Projected changes in extreme precipitation over Scotland and Northern England using a high-resolution regional climate model
journal, March 2018


Improved climatological precipitation characteristics over West Africa at convection-permitting scales
journal, April 2019

  • Berthou, Ségolène; Rowell, David P.; Kendon, Elizabeth J.
  • Climate Dynamics, Vol. 53, Issue 3-4
  • DOI: 10.1007/s00382-019-04759-4

Inter-comparison of spatiotemporal features of precipitation extremes within six daily precipitation products
journal, November 2019


The hourly precipitation intensity and frequency in the Yarlung Zangbo river basin in China during last decade
journal, February 2020


Hourly rainfall climatology of Louisiana
journal, November 2018

  • Brown, Vincent M.; Black, Alan W.; Keim, Barry D.
  • Theoretical and Applied Climatology, Vol. 137, Issue 3-4
  • DOI: 10.1007/s00704-018-2718-8

High‐Frequency Intermittency in Observed and Model‐Simulated Precipitation
journal, November 2018

  • Covey, Curt; Doutriaux, Charles; Gleckler, Peter J.
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 45, Issue 22
  • DOI: 10.1029/2018gl078926

The Uneven Nature of Daily Precipitation and Its Change
journal, November 2018

  • Pendergrass, Angeline G.; Knutti, Reto
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 45, Issue 21
  • DOI: 10.1029/2018gl080298

Can We Constrain Uncertainty in Hydrologic Cycle Projections?
journal, April 2019

  • Prein, Andreas F.; Pendergrass, Angeline G.
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 46, Issue 7
  • DOI: 10.1029/2018gl081529

Precipitation Characteristics in the Community Atmosphere Model and Their Dependence on Model Physics and Resolution
journal, July 2019

  • Chen, Di; Dai, Aiguo
  • Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, Vol. 11, Issue 7
  • DOI: 10.1029/2018ms001536

Precise Temporal Disaggregation Preserving Marginals and Correlations (DiPMaC) for Stationary and Nonstationary Processes
journal, October 2018

  • Papalexiou, Simon Michael; Markonis, Yannis; Lombardo, Federico
  • Water Resources Research, Vol. 54, Issue 10
  • DOI: 10.1029/2018wr022726

A Spatial‐Temporal Extreme Precipitation Database from GPM IMERG
journal, October 2019

  • Zhou, Yaping; Nelson, Kevin; Mohr, Karen I.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, Vol. 124, Issue 19
  • DOI: 10.1029/2019jd030449

Assessment of Water Cycle Intensification Over Land using a Multisource Global Gridded Precipitation DataSet
journal, November 2019

  • Markonis, Y.; Papalexiou, S. M.; Martinkova, M.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, Vol. 124, Issue 21
  • DOI: 10.1029/2019jd030855

Developing PIDF Curves From Dynamically Downscaled WRF Model Fields to Examine Extreme Precipitation Events in Three Eastern U.S. Metropolitan Areas
journal, December 2019

  • Jalowska, Anna M.; Spero, Tanya L.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, Vol. 124, Issue 24
  • DOI: 10.1029/2019jd031584

Persistent multi-scale fluctuations shift European hydroclimate to its millennial boundaries
journal, May 2018


Improving the representation of anthropogenic CO2 emissions in climate models: impact of a new parameterization for the Community Earth System Model (CESM)
journal, January 2018

  • Navarro, Andrés; Moreno, Raúl; Tapiador, Francisco J.
  • Earth System Dynamics, Vol. 9, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.5194/esd-9-1045-2018

STORM 1.0: a simple, flexible, and parsimonious stochastic rainfall generator for simulating climate and climate change
journal, January 2018

  • Singer, Michael Bliss; Michaelides, Katerina; Hobley, Daniel E. J.
  • Geoscientific Model Development, Vol. 11, Issue 9
  • DOI: 10.5194/gmd-11-3713-2018