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Temporal and spatial variations of convection, clouds and precipitation over the Tibetan Plateau from recent satellite observations. Part II: Precipitation climatology derived from global precipitation measurement mission

Journal article
Authors Julia Kukulies
Deliang Chen
M. H. Wang
Published in International Journal of Climatology
Pages 18
ISSN 0899-8418
Publication year 2020
Published at Department of Earth Sciences
Pages 18
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1002/joc.6493
Keywords convective precipitation, diurnal cycle, GPM, monsoon, principal, component analysis, seasonality, Tibetan Plateau, diurnal-variations, passive microwave, rainfall estimation, gauge, observations, summer, east, variability, products, systems, seasonality, Meteorology & Atmospheric Sciences
Subject categories Earth and Related Environmental Sciences

Abstract

This sequence of papers examines spatio-temporal variations of precipitation over the Tibetan Plateau (TP) based on satellite observations. Here in Part 2, spatial patterns of seasonal and diurnal variations of precipitation have been examined based on the Global Precipitation Measurement Mission (GPM) and three additional satellite products. The results show a spatial dipole pattern of two distinct seasonalities: The central TP is marked by strong July peaks and exhibits rainfall contributions of the monsoon season (May-September) of more than 70%, whereas northwestern and southern regions of the plateau exhibit significantly smaller amplitudes in the annual cycle. In some southern regions which are characterized by very high summer mean precipitation and more extreme rain rates, winter months (October-April) contribute significantly to the total annual mean precipitation. In addition, there are larger differences in seasonal curves along a west-to-east axis, than along a north-to-south axis. The spatial patterns of diurnal precipitation over the TP are more complex compared to seasonality and point to multiple components, which construct the regional differences. These show also a seasonal dependence and are characterized by a stronger afternoon to early evening peak (17:00 LST time, 11:00 UTC) and weaker nighttime peak (23:00 LST, 17:00 UTC) during the monsoon season and over the plateau compared to its surroundings. Furthermore, it was shown that convective precipitation during the monsoon season contribute only up to 30% to the total precipitation, whereas more than 70% is produced by the 90th percentile of daily rain rates. An important characteristic of summer precipitation is hence that a significant part of the extreme precipitation is non-convective. This paper reveals new features of spatial patterns in seasonal and diurnal precipitation and highlights the importance of non-monsoonal components for seasonal precipitation variations.

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