Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 104, Issue 3–4, pp 415–421 | Cite as

Spatial analysis of variations in precipitation intensity in the USA

Original Paper

Abstract

In this study, we used various spatial analytical methods to examine variations and trends in precipitation intensity in the conterminous USA. We found that three different measures of precipitation intensity were highly correlated; intensity increased in a spatially coherent fashion in the northeastern quarter of the USA and generally decreased in the center portion of the western USA. Evidence is presented that spatial and temporal patterns in the trends of precipitation intensity are related to the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation. Our results are generally in agreement with others who are reporting an upward trend in precipitation intensity during a period when the planet appears to have warmed.

References

  1. Alexander LV et al (2006) Global observed changes in daily climate extremes of temperature and precipitation. J Geophys Res 111:D05109. doi:05110.01029/02005JD006290 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Allen MR, Ingram WJ (2002) Constraints on future changes in climate and the hydrological cycle. Nature 419:2224–2232Google Scholar
  3. Anselin L (1995) Local indicators of spatial association—LISA. Geogr Anal 27:93–115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Clark PJ, Evans FC (1954) Distance to nearest neighbor as a measure of spatial relationships in populations. Ecology 35:445–453CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Curtis S (2008) The Atlantic multidecadal oscillation and extreme daily precipitation over the US and Mexico during the hurricane season. Clim Dynam 30:343–351CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Durkee JD, Frye JD, Furhmann CM, Lacke MC, Jeong HG, Mote TL (2008) Effects of the North Atlantic Oscillation on precipitation-type frequency and distribution in the eastern United States. Theor Appl Climatol 94:51–65CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Durre I et al (2008) Strategies for evaluating quality-control procedures. J Climate Appl Meteorol 47:1785–1791CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Enfield DB, Mestas-Nuñez AM, Trimble PJ (2001) The Atlantic multidecadal oscillation and its relation to rainfall and river flows in the continental U.S. Geophys Res Let 28:2077–2080CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Gray ST, Graumlich LJ, Betancourt JL, Pederson GT (2004) A tree-ring based reconstruction of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation since 1567. Geophys Res Let 31:L12205. doi:10.1029/2004GL019932 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Griffiths ML, Bradley RS (2007) Variations of twentieth-century temperature and precipitation extreme indicators in the Northeast United States. J Climate 20:5401–5417CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Higgins RW, Silva VBS, Shi W, Larson J (2007) Relationships between climate variability and fluctuations in daily precipitation over the United States. J Climate 20:3561–3579CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Solomon S et al (2007) Climate change 2007: the physical science basis. Contribution of working group i to the fourth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. Cambridge Univ. Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  13. Kunkel KE, Andsager K, Easterling DR (1999) Long-term trends in extreme precipitation events over the conterminous United States and Canada. J Climate 12:2515–2527CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kunkel KE (2003a) Sea surface temperature forcing of the upward trend in U.S. extreme precipitation. J Geophys Res 108:4020. doi:10.1029/2002JD002404 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kunkel KE (2003b) North American trends in extreme precipitation. Nat Hazards 29:291–305CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kunkel KE, Easterling DR, Hubbard K, Redmond K (2003) Temporal variations of extreme precipitation events in the United States: 1895–2000. Geophys Res Let 30:1900. doi:10.1029/2003GL018052 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Menne MJ (2010) United States historical climatology network daily temperature, precipitation, and snow data. Carbon dioxide information analysis center. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak RidgeGoogle Scholar
  18. Moran PAP (1950) Notes on continuous stochastic phenomena. Biometrika 37:17–23Google Scholar
  19. Peralta-Hernandez AR et al (2009) Comparative analysis of indices of extreme rainfall events: variations and trends from southern Mexico. Atmosphera 22:219–228Google Scholar
  20. Pryor SC, Howe JA, Kunkel KE (2009) How spatially coherent and statistically robust are temporal changes in extreme precipitation in the contiguous USA? Internat J Climatol 29:31–45CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Sen Roy S, Balling RC Jr (2009) Evaluation of extreme precipitation indices using daily records (1910–2000) from India. Weather 64:149–152CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Shannon CE (1948) A mathematical theory of communication. Bell Syst Tech J 27:379–423Google Scholar
  23. Ting M, Kushnir Y, Seager R, Li C (2009) Forced and internal twentieth-century SST trends in the North Atlantic. J Climate 22:1469–1481CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Trenberth KE, Shea DE (2006) Atlantic hurricanes and natural variability in 2005. Geophys Res Let 33:L12704. doi:10.1029/2006GL026894 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Trenberth KE, Dai A, Rasmussen RM, Parsons DB (2003) The changing character of precipitation. Bull Amer Meteorol Soc 84:1205–1217CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Geographical Sciences and Urban PlanningArizona State UniversityTempeUSA
  2. 2.Department of Geography and GeologyWestern Kentucky UniversityBowling GreenUSA

Personalised recommendations