An object-oriented characterization of extreme precipitation-producing convective systems in the midwestern United States

Nathan M. Hitchens, Michael E. Baldwin, Robert J. Trapp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Extreme precipitation was identified in the midwestern United States using an object-oriented approach applied to the NCEP stage-II hourly precipitation dataset. This approach groups contiguous areas that exceed a user-defined threshold into "objects," which then allows object attributes to be diagnosed. Those objects with precipitation maxima in the 99th percentile (>55 mm) were considered extreme, and there were 3484 such objects identified in the midwestern United States between 1996 and 2010. Precipitation objects ranged in size from hundreds to over 100 000 km 2, and the maximum precipitation within each object varied between 55 and 104 mm. The majority of occurrences of extreme precipitation were in the summer (June, July, and August), and peaked in the afternoon into night (1900-0200 UTC) in the diurnal cycle. Consistent with the previous work by the authors, this study shows that the systems that produce extreme precipitation in the midwestern United States vary widely across the convective-storm spectrum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1356-1366
Number of pages11
JournalMonthly Weather Review
Volume140
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Precipitation
  • Rainfall

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science

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