12.2 A Statistical and Synoptic Analysis of Rainfall in the Central Mississippi Valley Region

Thursday, 14 January 2016: 3:45 PM
Room 245 ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Jordan L. Rabinowitz, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO; and A. R. Lupo and E. J. Sadler

Over the last few decades, atmospheric research has worked on assimilating regional rainfall statistics in an effort to improve: the monitoring of precipitation, the understanding of climate trends and variability, and the anticipation of anomalously dry and wet periods. One long-term goal of this work is to enhance the understanding of rainfall gauge position in relation to the long-range prediction of regional precipitation and subsequent crop forecasting issues. Another goal is to examine the synoptic structure of rain producing events with respect to interannual variability. Among the nine rain gauges currently positioned throughout Goodwater Creek (a 72.5 sq. kilometer basin to the northeast of Columbia, Missouri); four gauges have been active from 1976 to the present; two of which have been active since 1969. The primary statistical analysis will be to examine return periods for heavy rainfall across the central Missouri River Valley basin over the last 45 years and evaluating the inter-annual variability of precipitation anomalies. This will be complemented by the analysis of intensity-duration-frequency (IDF) curves from the specified rain gauges over the time period(s) of interest. A connection between the rainfall rates and inteannual variations such as El Nino and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, as well climatic trends (increase in heavier rainfall events). Then the synoptic structure of rainfall events was examined for differences in atmospheric water vapor content, among others. The aspiration for these results is to improve the effectiveness of agricultural forecasts and practices.
- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner