Geographical differences in the tropical precipitation-moisture relationship and rain intensity onset Academic Article uri icon


  • AbstractIn this study, we show that the welldocumented exponential increase in the precipitationwater vapor (Pr) curve over tropical oceans also applies to tropical land but that the land curve starts its exponential increase at smaller values of column moisture than over ocean. We demonstrate that daytime surface heating contributes to this characteristic shape of the land Pr curves. There is also significant geographical variation in the shape of the Pr curve within land and ocean regions, with the Amazon, the Maritime Continent, and the eastern edges of oceans as distinct outliers. We further show that convective and stratiform rain intensities exhibit a pickup that is separate from the corresponding rain areas in the tropical Pr curve while shallow convective rain has a yet another pickup. These variations of the Pr curve characteristics likely represent geographical variations of environmental controls on storm life cycle.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 0.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Ahmed, F., & Schumacher, C.

citation count

  • 29

complete list of authors

  • Ahmed, Fiaz||Schumacher, Courtney

publication date

  • January 2017