An unexplored relationship between wet day frequency and precipitation intensity distributions

Seminar by Prof. Adrian McDonald from School of Physical and Chemical Sciences, University of Canterbury

17 November 2022
KST 14:00 – 15:00

The Seminar is being held in Room 1010 (Jasmin) – Integrated mechanical engineering building. Click here for the campus map.

This presentation details work within my group which shows that where it rains more often, it also rains harder. When grouping precipitation into regions of similar wet day frequency, regardless of geographical separation, there is a strong correlation with wet day intensity distributions. These wet day frequency regions are also more physical  coherent than regions based on geographical location. We find the coherent relationship between wet day frequency and intensity is partially explained by wet day frequency regions  having similar vertical velocity and convective available potential energy distributions, once  polar regions are excluded. These represent dynamic and thermodynamic processes which  partially indicate how conducive wet day frequency regions are to large-scale and convective precipitation. Our results show we no longer need to consider wet day intensity and frequency separately, providing a new perspective for understanding precipitation in a changing world. We also show extreme precipitation metrics, which are normally considered independent, are dependent on wet day frequency in our framework.