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Tosiyuki Nakaegawa, Osamu Arakawa, and Kenji Kamiguchi


The present study investigated the onset and withdrawal dates of the rainy season in Panama by using newly developed, gridded, daily precipitation datasets with a high horizontal resolution of 0.05° based on ground precipitation observations. The onset and withdrawal dates showed very complicated geographical features, although the country of Panama is oriented parallel to latitude lines, and the geographical patterns of the onset and withdrawal dates could simply reflect the latitudinal migration of the intertropical convergence zone, as seen in other regions and countries. An absolute threshold value of 3 mm day−1 (pentad mean precipitation) was used to determine the onset and withdrawal dates. The onset and withdrawal dates obtained from the gridded daily precipitation dataset clearly depicted the migration of the rainy season. The rainy season starts suddenly in pentad 21 (11–15 April) in most of eastern Panama and in pentad 22 (16–20 April) in most of western Panama. The termination of the rainy season begins in Los Santos Province during pentad 67 (27 November–1 December) and expands to both the eastern and western surrounding areas. There is no dry season in the western part of the Caribbean coastal zone. Water vapor fluxes and topography suggest dynamical causes, such as a topographically induced upward mass flux accompanied by high humidity, for the complicated geographical features of the onset and withdrawal dates. An assessment was made of uncertainties in the timing of the onset and withdrawal associated with the definition of these terms.

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Akiyo Yatagai, Kenji Kamiguchi, Osamu Arakawa, Atsushi Hamada, Natsuko Yasutomi, and Akio Kitoh

A daily gridded precipitation dataset covering a period of more than 57 yr was created by collecting and analyzing rain gauge observation data across Asia through the activities of the Asian Precipitation—Highly Resolved Observational Data Integration Towards Evaluation of Water Resources (APHRODITE) project. APHRODITE's daily gridded precipitation is presently the only long-term, continental-scale, high-resolution daily product. The product is based on data collected at 5,000–12,000 stations, which represent 2.3–4.5 times the data made available through the Global Telecommunication System network and is used for most daily gridded precipitation products. Hence, the APHRODITE project has substantially improved the depiction of the areal distribution and variability of precipitation around the Himalayas, Southeast Asia, and mountainous regions of the Middle East. The APHRODITE project now contributes to studies such as the determination of Asian monsoon precipitation change, evaluation of water resources, verification of high-resolution model simulations and satellite precipitation estimates, and improvement of precipitation forecasts. The APHRODITE project carries out outreach activities with Asian countries, and communicates with national institutions and world data centers. We have released open-access APHRO_V1101 datasets for monsoon Asia, the Middle East, and northern Eurasia (at 0.5° × 0.5° and 0.25° × 0.25° resolution) and the APHRO_JP_V1005 dataset for Japan (at 0.05° × 0.05° resolution; see and We welcome cooperation and feedback from users.

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