On the Relationship between the Amount and Frequency of Precipitation over the Ocean

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  • 1 Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, Environmental Research Laboratories, NOAA, Seattle, WA 98105
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Abstract

Data at 12 ocean weather stations were used to determine the amount of precipitation by a method devised by Tucker (1961), and precipitation frequency at each site was taken from recent climatic atlases. By combining the above data, monthly and annual estimates of precipitation intensity were calculated. The monthly intensities were then corrected for a suspected bias in Tucker's assessments. Precipitation can be calculated from these intensities and climatological maps of frequency; monthly and annual values have standard deviations of 12 and 9% of the means, respectively. The results are believed to have general applicability to extratropical regions. Furthermore, in data-sparse areas, use of intensities with frequencies can provide a more reliable estimate of oceanic rainfall amounts than Tucker's method.

Abstract

Data at 12 ocean weather stations were used to determine the amount of precipitation by a method devised by Tucker (1961), and precipitation frequency at each site was taken from recent climatic atlases. By combining the above data, monthly and annual estimates of precipitation intensity were calculated. The monthly intensities were then corrected for a suspected bias in Tucker's assessments. Precipitation can be calculated from these intensities and climatological maps of frequency; monthly and annual values have standard deviations of 12 and 9% of the means, respectively. The results are believed to have general applicability to extratropical regions. Furthermore, in data-sparse areas, use of intensities with frequencies can provide a more reliable estimate of oceanic rainfall amounts than Tucker's method.

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