This study was supported by NSF Grant ATM-0004479. Much of the work in this article is taken from the M.S. thesis of the first author. We express our thanks to Steve Nesbitt, Ed Zipser, Chuntao Liu, and others who carried out the tedious job of compiling the precipitation feature database and making it available to others. Without this data base, our study could not have been carried out. We also thank Ed Zipser and two anonymous reviewers for their thorough reading of the manuscript and valuable suggestions for improvement.
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