Scale-wise evolution of rainfall probability density functions fingerprints the rainfall generation mechanism

Annalisa Molini, Gabriel G. Katul, Amilcare Porporato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

The cross-scale probabilistic structure of rainfall intensity records collected over time scales ranging from hours to decades at sites dominated by both convective and frontal systems is investigated. Across these sites, intermittency build-up from slow to fast time-scales is analyzed in terms of heavy tailed and asymmetric signatures in the scale-wise evolution of rainfall probability density functions (pdfs). The analysis demonstrates that rainfall records dominated by convective storms develop heavier-Tailed power law pdfs toward finer scales when compared with their frontal systems counterpart. Also, a concomitant marked asymmetry build-up emerges at such finer time scales. A scale-dependent probabilistic description of such fat tails and asymmetry appearance is proposed based on a modified q-Gaussian model, able to describe the cross-scale rainfall pdfs in terms of the nonextensivity parameter q, a lacunarity (intermittency) correction and a tail asymmetry coefficient, linked to the rainfall generation mechanism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL07403
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume37
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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