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Title: How Often Does It Really Rain?

Abstract

The perception about whether a place is a nice place to live often depends on how often it rains (or snows). The frequency relates to how dreary the weather appears, and it is the duration much more than the amount that clouds perceptions. Yet, information about the frequency of rainfall, or precipitation in general, is spotty at best. In this paper, we analyze a new near-global (60°N–60°S) dataset at hourly time scales and 0.25° resolution. The dataset, the newly calibrated Climate Prediction Center morphing technique (CMORPH), enables comparison of results with 3-hourly and daily data, which is what has previously been available, and seasonal aspects are also examined. The results are quite sensitive to both the spatial scales of the data and their temporal resolutions, and it is important to get down to hourly values to gain a proper appreciation of the true frequency. At 1° resolution, values are 35% higher than for 0.25°. At 3-hourly resolution, they are about 25% higher than hourly, and at daily resolution, they are about 150% higher than hourly on average. Overall, near-global (60°N–60°S) precipitation occurs 11.0% ± 1.1% (1 sigma) of the time or, alternatively, 89.0% of the time it is not precipitating.more » But outside of the intertropical and South Pacific convergence zones, where values exceed 30%, and the arid and desert regions, where values are below 4%, the rates are more like 10% or so, and over land where most people live, values are closer to about 8%.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1]
  1. National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Boulder, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. Corporation for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1541808
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0012711
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 99; Journal Issue: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 0003-0007
Publisher:
American Meteorological Society
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; meteorology & atmospheric sciences

Citation Formats

Trenberth, Kevin E., and Zhang, Yongxin. How Often Does It Really Rain?. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1175/bams-d-17-0107.1.
Trenberth, Kevin E., & Zhang, Yongxin. How Often Does It Really Rain?. United States. doi:10.1175/bams-d-17-0107.1.
Trenberth, Kevin E., and Zhang, Yongxin. Fri . "How Often Does It Really Rain?". United States. doi:10.1175/bams-d-17-0107.1. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1541808.
@article{osti_1541808,
title = {How Often Does It Really Rain?},
author = {Trenberth, Kevin E. and Zhang, Yongxin},
abstractNote = {The perception about whether a place is a nice place to live often depends on how often it rains (or snows). The frequency relates to how dreary the weather appears, and it is the duration much more than the amount that clouds perceptions. Yet, information about the frequency of rainfall, or precipitation in general, is spotty at best. In this paper, we analyze a new near-global (60°N–60°S) dataset at hourly time scales and 0.25° resolution. The dataset, the newly calibrated Climate Prediction Center morphing technique (CMORPH), enables comparison of results with 3-hourly and daily data, which is what has previously been available, and seasonal aspects are also examined. The results are quite sensitive to both the spatial scales of the data and their temporal resolutions, and it is important to get down to hourly values to gain a proper appreciation of the true frequency. At 1° resolution, values are 35% higher than for 0.25°. At 3-hourly resolution, they are about 25% higher than hourly, and at daily resolution, they are about 150% higher than hourly on average. Overall, near-global (60°N–60°S) precipitation occurs 11.0% ± 1.1% (1 sigma) of the time or, alternatively, 89.0% of the time it is not precipitating. But outside of the intertropical and South Pacific convergence zones, where values exceed 30%, and the arid and desert regions, where values are below 4%, the rates are more like 10% or so, and over land where most people live, values are closer to about 8%.},
doi = {10.1175/bams-d-17-0107.1},
journal = {Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society},
number = 2,
volume = 99,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {3}
}

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Cited by: 6 works
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Works referencing / citing this record:

Biased estimates of the isotope ratios of steady‐state evaporation from the assumption of equilibrium between vapour and precipitation
journal, July 2019

  • Fiorella, Richard P.; West, Jason B.; Bowen, Gabriel J.
  • Hydrological Processes, Vol. 33, Issue 19
  • DOI: 10.1002/hyp.13531

Biased estimates of the isotope ratios of steady‐state evaporation from the assumption of equilibrium between vapour and precipitation
journal, July 2019

  • Fiorella, Richard P.; West, Jason B.; Bowen, Gabriel J.
  • Hydrological Processes, Vol. 33, Issue 19
  • DOI: 10.1002/hyp.13531