83rd Annual

Monday, 10 February 2003: 10:00 AM
Dry Spells in the United Kingdom Precipitation Time-Series
Paul S. Wilson, Imperial College, University of London, London, United Kingdom; and R. Toumi
The nature of precipitation as a highly variable intermittent phenomenon is discussed in the context of climate change specific to the location of the British Isles. The typical focus of precipitation studies on the amount within a specified time period is rejected in favour of a study examining the duration of wet and dry spells within the time series. The probability distribution of dry spells is well approximated by a stretched exponential distribution with no apparent scale break, suggestive of a single mechanism determining spell duration. A stochastic model based on the physical understanding of blocking anticyclones is presented.

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