WATER-VAPOR TRANSFER OVER THE NORTH AMERICAN CONTINENT

George S. Benton Johns Hopkins University

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Mariano A. Estoque Johns Hopkins University

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Abstract

The transfer of water in vapor form by the atmosphere is presented for the calendar year 1949. Monthly and seasonal patterns of moisture flow are evaluated, and it is shown that there is a close relationship between these patterns and the distribution of precipitation. The importance of eddy systems in effecting moisture transfer is examined, and the meridional flow of vapor over the North American sector is compared with the average for the Northern Hemisphere. Divergence fields of water-vapor transfer are used in conjunction with a mass-continuity equation for water to compute evapotranspiration over the North American continent. Hydrologic data verify these computations to a remarkable degree.

Abstract

The transfer of water in vapor form by the atmosphere is presented for the calendar year 1949. Monthly and seasonal patterns of moisture flow are evaluated, and it is shown that there is a close relationship between these patterns and the distribution of precipitation. The importance of eddy systems in effecting moisture transfer is examined, and the meridional flow of vapor over the North American sector is compared with the average for the Northern Hemisphere. Divergence fields of water-vapor transfer are used in conjunction with a mass-continuity equation for water to compute evapotranspiration over the North American continent. Hydrologic data verify these computations to a remarkable degree.

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