• rainfall duration;
  • diurnal variation;
  • central eastern China

[1] Using hourly station rain-gauge data during 1991–2004, we studied the relation between rainfall duration and diurnal variation during the warm season (May to September) over the central eastern China (105–120°E, 26–36°N). Our result shows that more than 60% of the total rainfall in the central eastern China comes from long-duration rainfall events (an event that lasts longer than 6 hours). The long-duration rainfall events tend to have their maximum hourly rainfall around early morning, while short-duration rainfall events (an event of 1–3 hours in duration) have their peak rainfall around late afternoon. This contrast explains the two peaks in the diurnal variation of averaged precipitation over the central eastern China shown in previous studies.