Temporal downscaling and statistical analysis of rainfall across a topographic transect in northwest Mexico

Giuseppe Mascaro, Enrique Vivoni, David J. Gochis, Christopher J. Watts, Julio C. Rodriguez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this study a temporal statistical downscaling scheme of rainfall is calibrated using observations from 2007 to 2010 at eight sites located along a 14-kmtopographic transect of 784min elevation in northwest Mexico. For this purpose, the rainfall statistical properties over a wide range of temporal scales (3months-1min) for the summer (July-September) and winter (November-March) seasons are first analyzed. Rainfall accumulation is found not to be significantly correlated with elevation in either season, a strong diurnal cycle is found to be present only in summer, peaking in the late afternoon.Winter rainfall events are highly correlated between individual stations across the transect even at short aggregation times (<30min), summer storms are more localized in space and time. Spectral and scale invariance analyses showed the presence of three (two) scaling regimes in summer (winter), which are associated with typical meteorological phenomena of the corresponding time scales (frontal systems and relatively isolated convective systems). These analyses formed the basis for calibrating a temporal downscaling model to disaggregate daily precipitation to hourly resolution in the summer season, based on scale invariance and multifractal theory. In this downscaling scheme, a modulation function was used to reproduce the time heterogeneity introduced by the diurnal cycle. The model showed adequate performances in reproducing the small-scale observed precipitation variability. Results of this work are useful for the interpretation of stormgenerationmechanisms in the region, for creating hourly rainfall time series fromdaily rainfall data, obtained from observations or simulated by climate, meteorological, or other statistical models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)910-927
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology
Volume53
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science

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