Two modes of change of the distribution of rain

AMS Citation:
Pendergrass, A., and D. L. Hartmann, 2014: Two modes of change of the distribution of rain. Journal of Climate, 27, 8357-8371, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00182.1.
Resource Type:article
Title:Two modes of change of the distribution of rain
Abstract: The frequency and intensity of rainfall determine its character and may change with climate. A methodology for characterizing the frequency and amount of rainfall as functions of the rain rate is developed. Two modes of response are defined, one in which the distribution of rainfall increases in equal fraction at all rain rates and one in which the rainfall shifts to higher or lower rain rates without a change in mean rainfall. This description of change is applied to the tropical distribution of daily rainfall over ENSO phases in models and observations. The description fits observations and most models well, although some models also have an extreme mode in which the frequency increases at extremely high rain rates. The multimodel mean from phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) agrees with observations in showing a very large shift of 14%–15% K−1, indicating large increases in the heaviest rain rates associated with El Niño. Models with an extreme mode response to global warming do not agree as well with observations of the rainfall response to El Niño.
Peer Review:Refereed
Copyright Information:Copyright 2014 American Meteorological Society (AMS). Permission to use figures, tables, and brief excerpts from this work in scientific and educational works is hereby granted provided that the source is acknowledged. Any use of material in this work that is determined to be "fair use" under Section 107 or that satisfies the conditions specified in Section 108 of the U.S. Copyright Law (17 USC, as revised by P.L. 94-553) does not require the Society's permission. Republication, systematic reproduction, posting in electronic form on servers, or other uses of this material, except as exempted by the above statements, requires written permission or license from the AMS. Additional details are provided in the AMS Copyright Policies, available from the AMS at 617-227-2425 or Permission to place a copy of this work on this server has been provided by the AMS. The AMS does not guarantee that the copy provided here is an accurate copy of the published work.
OpenSky citable URL: ark:/85065/d71r6rjk
Publisher's Version: 10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00182.1
  • Angeline Pendergrass - NCAR/UCAR
  • Dennis Hartmann
  • Random Profile


    Recent & Upcoming Visitors