The probability distribution of intense daily precipitation

  • Cavanaugh N
  • Gershunov A
  • Panorska A
 et al. 
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Abstract

The probability tail structure of over 22,000 weather stations globally is examined in order to identify the physically and mathematically consistent distribution type for modeling the probability of intense daily precipitation and extremes. Results indicate that when aggregating data annually, most locations are to be considered heavy tailed with statistical significance. When aggregating data by season, it becomes evident that the thickness of the probability tail is related to the variability in precipitation causing events and thus that the fundamental cause of precipitation volatility is weather diversity. These results have both theoretical and practical implications for the modeling of high-frequency climate variability worldwide.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Pareto
  • extreme
  • precipitation
  • probability
  • weather station

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