This research was supported by the NOAA PACS Research Program (NA56GPO185) and the NASA-EOS Interdisciplinary Research Program (NASA IDP-88-086). Dr. P. A. Arkin and Dr. P. Xie of the National Meteorological Center, NOAA, made many constructive suggestions and shared with us the benefits of their extensive experience and profound knowledge. Dan Braithwaite performed the programming required to access the data and to develop the internet web site. The carefulreading and editing of the manuscript by Ms. Corrie Thies and the constructive criticism provided by the anonymous reviewers resulted in significant improvements to the manuscript. The satellite and ground-based data for Japan were kindly made available to us by Dr. Arkin; the original source of the data is the Global Precipitation Climatology Project (GPCP) First Algorithm Intercomparison Project (AIP-1), which was supported by the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP). NASA Ames Research Center provided the GOES satellite data, and NASA Marshall Space Flight Center DAAC provided the NEXRAD WSR-88D radar composite data for Florida. To all of these people and organization, we are profoundly grateful.
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