Characteristics of long-duration precipitation events across the United States
Article first published online: 29 NOV 2007
Copyright 2007 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 34, Issue 22, November 2007
How to Cite
2007), Characteristics of long-duration precipitation events across the United States, Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, L22712, doi:10.1029/2007GL031808., , and (
- Issue published online: 29 NOV 2007
- Article first published online: 29 NOV 2007
- Manuscript Accepted: 23 OCT 2007
- Manuscript Revised: 11 OCT 2007
- Manuscript Received: 24 AUG 2007
 Previous studies have indicated that extreme precipitation intensity is increasing over time, and has been attributed to anthropogenic warming. Generally these studies have limited analyses to data from daily rainfall totals. We extend those studies by examining characteristics associated with storms of varying duration. We find that significant differences exist in the character of long-duration storms (those of twenty consecutive hours or more) from 1948 to 2004. Specifically we find that, although long-duration storms are becoming wetter, (a) they are occurring less frequently and, consequently, comprising a progressively smaller proportion of the total storm number, and (b) they are contributing a smaller proportion of the total rainfall. Geographically, these storms are more likely to influence the Gulf States (particularly in autumn) and the central west coastal area of northern California. Fundamentally, this study suggests that evaluating precipitation over daily time frames may not capture the full complexities in extreme rainfall events.