Convective and stratiform components of the precipitation-moisture relationship Academic Article uri icon


  • AbstractWe reexamine the well known empirical relationship between areaaveraged surface precipitation (P) and the column moisture content (r) using ground radar and satellite observations, with an emphasis on the convective and stratiform rainfall classifications. The rapid rise in P above critical r (rc) or the pickup is more pronounced for stratiform rainfall on hourly and less time scales while convective rainfall, displays only a weak pickup above rc. After partitioning the areaaveraged rainfall into conditional rain rates and rain area, we find that the nonlinearity in the Pr curve can be almost entirely explained by the nonlinear increase in rain area, especially in stratiform regions. These findings have implications for the representation of organized convective cloud systems in global circulation models.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 0.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Ahmed, F., & Schumacher, C.

citation count

  • 88

complete list of authors

  • Ahmed, Fiaz||Schumacher, Courtney

publication date

  • December 2015