Variability of Precipitation in an Arid Region: A Survey of Characteristics for Arizona
AuthorMcDonald, James E.
AffiliationInstitute of Atmospheric Physics, The University of Arizona
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DescriptionThis is the first in a series of reports on studies corollary to the University of Arizona – U. S. Weather Bureau Cooperative Punchcard Climatology Program.
AbstractA number of statistical and meteorological aspects of the temporal and spatial variability of precipitation in Arizona have been examined in terms of their bearing on the water resources of the arid southwestern United States. Most of the work summerized has been of the nature of initial exploratory investigations made in order to lay the foundation for the much more extensive studies that will shortly be begun as part of the University of Arizona-U.S. Weather Bureau Cooperative Punchcard Climatological program. A selected sample of long-record Weather Bureau precipitation stations in Arizona were analyzed for their historic variability properties, a number of statistical and calculational techniques were tested, and a general plan has been developed for the next phases of the Institute's variability program. It is believed that these findings will be of interest not only to investigators in arid regions themselves but also to investigators chiefly concerned with more humid areas; for, in many respects, the statistical characteristics of arid-lands precipitation pose the most stringent of all requirements on statistical methodology. In that sense, the quantitative results of the present report may serve as useful indicators of upper bounds on the effects of non-normality, skewness, and heteroscedasticity of precipitation frequency distributions for North America in general.
Series/Report no.University of Arizona, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Technical Reports on the Meteorology and Climatology of Arid Regions, No. 1
SponsorsThe analysis reported herein has been carried out as one part of an investigation supported by the National Science Foundation under Contract NSF-G1101.
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