Variability and Trend in Seasonal Precipitation in the Continental United States Academic Article uri icon


  • Using 92-year precipitation data from 400 rain gauge stations located in 48 states throughout the continental United States, the change in precipitation in space and time was investigated. The variability in precipitation was investigated using an entropy-based approach. The Mann-Kendall, Spearman's rho, and Sen slope tests were applied to assess the existence of a trend in precipitation. Analysis showed that annual precipitation exhibited lower temporal variability than did its constituent seasonal series. The fall precipitation had the highest variability, and the spring precipitation the lowest. Not many stations exhibited trends, and they are concentrated in limited areas of the United States. The greatest part of those exhibiting statistically significant trends showed increasing trends both in precipitation and rainy days. Only in a few cases negative trends were found. Finally, analysis showed that no relationship can be established between trend and variability in precipitation. 2013 American Society of Civil Engineers.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • De Martino, G., Fontana, N., Marini, G., & Singh, V. P.

citation count

  • 44

complete list of authors

  • De Martino, Giuseppe||Fontana, Nicola||Marini, Gustavo||Singh, Vijay P

publication date

  • June 2013