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Characterizing Multiscale Variability of Zero Intermittency in Spatial Rainfall

Praveen KumarUniversities Space Research Association/Hydrological Sciences Branch, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland

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Efi Foufoula-GeorgiouSt. Anthony Falls Hydraulic Laboratory, Department of Civil and Mineral Engineering, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota

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Abstract

In this paper the authors study how zero intermittency in spatial rainfall, as described by the fraction of area covered by rainfall, changes with spatial scale of rainfall measurement or representation. A statistical measure of intermittency that describes the size distribution of “voids” (nonrainy areas imbedded inside rainy areas) as a function of scale is also introduced. Morphological algorithms are proposed for reconstructing rainfall intermittency at fine scales given the intermittency at coarser scales. These algorithms are envisioned to be useful in hydroclimatological studies where the rainfall spatial variability at the subgrid scale needs to be reconstructed from the results of synoptic- or mesoscale meteorological numerical models. The developed methodologies are demonstrated and tested using data from a severe springtime midlatitude squall line and a mild midlatitude winter storm monitored by a meteorological radar in Norman, Oklahoma.

Abstract

In this paper the authors study how zero intermittency in spatial rainfall, as described by the fraction of area covered by rainfall, changes with spatial scale of rainfall measurement or representation. A statistical measure of intermittency that describes the size distribution of “voids” (nonrainy areas imbedded inside rainy areas) as a function of scale is also introduced. Morphological algorithms are proposed for reconstructing rainfall intermittency at fine scales given the intermittency at coarser scales. These algorithms are envisioned to be useful in hydroclimatological studies where the rainfall spatial variability at the subgrid scale needs to be reconstructed from the results of synoptic- or mesoscale meteorological numerical models. The developed methodologies are demonstrated and tested using data from a severe springtime midlatitude squall line and a mild midlatitude winter storm monitored by a meteorological radar in Norman, Oklahoma.

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