Advertisement

Precipitation Efficiency

  • Xiaofan LiEmail author
  • Shouting Gao
Chapter
Part of the Springer Atmospheric Sciences book series (SPRINGERATMO)

Abstract

Precipitation efficiency is an important physical parameter in convective systems and has been applied to determine the rainfall intensity in operational precipitation forecasts (e.g., Doswell et al. 1996). Since Braham (1952) calculated precipitation efficiency with the inflow of water vapor into the storm through cloud base as the rainfall source more than half century ago, precipitation efficiency has been defined as the ratio of the precipitation rate to the sum of all precipitation sources. This definition of large-scale precipitation efficiency (LSPE) has been modified and widely applied in modeling studies and operational forecasts (e.g., Auer and Marwitz 1968; Heymsfield and Schotz 1985; Chong and Hauser 1989; Doswell et al. 1996; Ferrier et al. 1996; Li et al. 2002; Tao et al. 2004; Sui et al. 2005). Due to the fact that prognostic cloud microphysical parameterization schemes are used in cloud-resolving modeling of convective processes, precipitation efficiency is also defined through cloud microphysical budgets as cloud microphysics precipitation efficiency (CMPE; e.g., Weisman and Klemp 1982; Lipps and Hemler 1986; Ferrier et al. 1996; Li et al. 2002; Sui et al. 2005). The inclusion of water vapor divergence leads to a negative LSPE. The exclusion of local atmospheric drying associated with nocturnal IR cooling as a precipitation source yields more than 100% of LSPE. The exclusion of the decrease of hydrometeor concentration as a precipitation source causes more than 100% of LSPE and CMPE. These precipitation efficiencies fall within the normal range of 0–100% through the inclusion of all rainfall sources and the exclusion of all rainfall sinks from the water-vapor-related surface rainfall budget (Gao et al. 2005) for LSPE and the cloud microphysical budget for CMPE (Sui et al. 2007).

References

  1. Auer AH Jr, Marwitz JD (1968) Estimates of air and moisture flux into hailstorms on the high plains. J Appl Meteorol 7:196–198CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Braham RR Jr (1952) The water and energy budgets of the thunderstorm and their relation to thunderstorm development. J Meteorol 9:227–242CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chong M, Hauser D (1989) A tropical squall line observed during the CORT 81 experiment in West Africa. Part II: water budget. Mon Weather Rev 117:728–744CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cui X, Li X (2006) Role of sureface evaporation in surface rainfall processes. J Geophys Res 111, doi:10.1029/2005JD006876CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Doswell CA III, Brooks HE, Maddox RA (1996) Flash flood forecasting: an ingredients-based methodology. Weather Forecast 11:560–581CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Ferrier BS, Simpson J, Tao WK (1996) Factors responsible for different precipitation efficiencies between midlatitude and tropical squall simulations. Mon Weather Rev 124:2100–2125CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Gao S, Li X (2011) Can water vapor process data be used to estimate precipitation efficiency? Q J R Meteorol Soc 137:969–978, (c) Royal Meteorological Society. Reprinted with permissionCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Gao S, Cui X, Zhou Y, Li X (2005) Surface rainfall processes as simulated in a cloud resolving model. J Geophys Res. doi:10.1029/2004JD005467Google Scholar
  9. Heymsfield GM, Schotz S (1985) Structure and evolution of a severe squall line over Oklahoma. Mon Weather Rev 113:1563–1589CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Li X, Sui CH, Lau KM (2002) Precipitation efficiency in the tropical deep convective regime: a 2-D cloud resolving modeling study. J Meteorol Soc Jpn 80:205–212CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Lipps FB, Hemler RS (1986) Numerical simulation of deep tropical convection associated with large-scale convergence. J Atmos Sci 43:1796–1816CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Sui CH, Li X, Yang MJ, Huang HL (2005) Estimation of oceanic precipitation efficiency in cloud models. J Atmos Sci 62:4358–4370CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Sui CH, Li X, Yang MJ (2007) On the definition of precipitation efficiency. J Atmos Sci 64:4506–4513CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Tao WK, Johnson D, Shie CL, Simpson J (2004) The atmospheric energy budget and large-scale precipitation efficiency of convective systems during TOGA COARE, GATE, SCSMEX, and ARM: cloud-resolving model simulations. J Atmos Sci 61:2405–2423CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Weisman ML, Klemp JB (1982) The dependence of numerically simulated convective storms on vertical wind shear and buoyancy. Mon Weather Rev 110:504–520CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NOAA/NESDIS/Center for Satellite Applications and ResearchCamp SpringsUSA
  2. 2.Laboratory of Cloud-Precipitation Physics and Severe Storms Institute of Atmospheric PhysicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

Personalised recommendations