145 Evolution of Extreme Precipitation: A Satellite Based Investigation

Monday, 11 January 2016
Ryan Louis Gonzalez, Center for Multiscale Modeling of Atmospheric Processes, Fort Collins, CO; and C. Kummerow and J. Bytheway

The high variability of precipitation, spatially and temporally, creates problems in determining accurate measurements of accumulation and intensity. These problems become larger when trying to grasp how precipitation, and therefore precipitation extremes, will evolve in response to a warming climate. The general consensus among research is for an increase in precipitation intensity with an increase in moisture (Trenberth et al. 2003, Ingram and Allen 2002, Meehl et al. 2000). This study analyzes the evolution of precipitation extremes in tropical oceans with respect to an increase in atmospheric water content. The Global Precipitation Measurement Core satellite provides near global rain data on a daily timescale. Merged with ERA-Interim reanalysis data, probability density functions were generated with varying values of water vapor. It is shown there is no correlation for higher rain rates by simply increasing water vapor alone. Further, by performing the same process while adding a high and low category for CAPE values, the results indicate no interdependence between CAPE and an increase in extreme rain rates, which has been observed before (Sobel et al. 2004). An analysis into the vertical structure of moisture, inside a raining cloud, yielded similar results. Looking into factors such as the three dimensional structure of rain, location of liquid, ice, and mixed-phase regions, as well as other meteorological variables would likely provide a better understanding of the evolution of precipitation in respect to an increase in atmospheric water content. Understanding how precipitation will change in a warming climate will provide an advanced understanding into the transformation of Earth's water cycle. 015-->
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