Much of the cyclone-associated CFSR precipitation occurs in regions where the Pacific and NAA storm tracks are strongest, indicating that storm tracks identified from PV values leave a strong footprint in surface precipitation. Even the weaker portions of the storm tracks over land are also shown to leave a strong footprint in precipitation. The Pacific cyclone-associated precipitation pattern reveals precipitation rates in excess of 5 mm day-1 from Alaska to northern California along the North American west coast. The NAA storm track associated precipitation is concentrated over Florida and the surrounding Caribbean islands. An analysis was also performed using daily precipitation accumulations from the Global Precipitation Climatology Project (GPCP). The results show that precipitation associated with storms identified via a minimum intensity threshold occurs in nearby regions as the cyclone-associated precipitation from the reanalysis. The observational cyclone-associated precipitation rate exceeds 3 mm day-1 along the western coast of Canada and the eastern coast of the United States, and it exceeds 4 mm day-1 over the southeastern United States.
Local precipitation maxima are more prevalent in the observational precipitation patterns than in the reanalysis patterns. The magnitudes of both observed and reanalysis patterns over the Pacific Ocean are similar; however, the reanalysis appears to overestimate precipitation over the western coast of North America. A similar situation develops in the east where the observed precipitation pattern over the western North Atlantic Ocean is similar to that of the reanalysis, with the latter overestimating the precipitation patterns elsewhere.