Horizontal Variability of Seasonal Precipitation over the Eastern Tennessee River Valley

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  • 1 Atmospheric Turbulence and Diffusion Laboratory, NOAA, Oak Ridge, TN 37830
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Abstract

Rainfall data from 38 stations over a 32-year period are used to study the horizontal variability of seasonal precipitation over the complex terrain of the eastern Tennessee River Valley region. Subjective analysis of precipitation patterns suggests that horizontal variability is large during summer and small during winter. Objective measures of horizontal variability show that summertime variability is about twice as great as winter and annual variability and that variability is about four times greater across the valley than along the valley during winter and about two times greater during summer. A comparison of seasonal precipitation variability over uniform and complex terrain is made. Horizontal variability is always greater over the eastern Tennessee River Valley region with the greatest difference in summer and the least in winter; also, spatial correlations are always greater over uniform terrain.

Abstract

Rainfall data from 38 stations over a 32-year period are used to study the horizontal variability of seasonal precipitation over the complex terrain of the eastern Tennessee River Valley region. Subjective analysis of precipitation patterns suggests that horizontal variability is large during summer and small during winter. Objective measures of horizontal variability show that summertime variability is about twice as great as winter and annual variability and that variability is about four times greater across the valley than along the valley during winter and about two times greater during summer. A comparison of seasonal precipitation variability over uniform and complex terrain is made. Horizontal variability is always greater over the eastern Tennessee River Valley region with the greatest difference in summer and the least in winter; also, spatial correlations are always greater over uniform terrain.

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