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.
Date:2014-11-15
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
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OpenSky citable URL: ark:/85065/d71r6rjk
Publisher's Version: 10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00182.1
Author(s):
  • Angeline Pendergrass - NCAR/UCAR
  • Dennis Hartmann
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