By diagnosing the 3-hourly North American Regional Reanalysis rainfall data set for the 1979-2003 period, it is illustrated that the eastward propagation of convection systems from the Rockies to the Great Plains plays an essential role for the warm season climate over the central U.S. This eastward propagating mode could be the deciding factor for the observed nocturnal rainfall peak over the Great Plains. The results also suggest that nearly half of the total summer mean rainfall over this region is associated with these propagating convection systems. For instance, the extreme wet condition of the 1993 summer may be attributed to the frequent occurrence of propagating convection events and enhanced diurnal rainfall amplitude over the Great Plains. Thus, proper representation of this important propagating component in GCMs is essential for simulating the diurnal and seasonal mean characteristics of summertime rainfall over the central US.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)