Reconsidering Duration in Assessing the Character of Precipitation



In general, previous research has only tangentially addressed questions about the duration of precipitation events and the spatial and temporal variability associated with accumulating precipitation, from local to global scales. As precipitation rates and intensities change with variations in the climate, it is imperative that changes in the duration of precipitation events are also considered. Impacts from changes in precipitation duration, coupled with changes in precipitation intensity and frequency, have significant implications for changes in extreme events such as droughts and floods, but also the potential changes in moderate to light precipitation events. Accurately depicting changes in precipitation duration will help answer fundamental questions about precipitation characteristics that have not been addressed previously. A review of previous research incorporating precipitation duration is presented in this manuscript, with an example of how sub-daily precipitation data can be used to provide additional insight into the overall nature of precipitation.