Seasonal characteristics of precipitation in 1998 over East Asia as derived from TRMM PR

Research paper by Fu Yunfei, Lin Yihua, Guosheng Liu, Wang Qiang

Indexed on: 01 Jul '03Published on: 01 Jul '03Published in: Advances in Atmospheric Sciences


Precipitation radar data derived from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite are used to study precipitation characteristics in 1998 over East Asia (10°–38°N, 100°–145°E), especially over mid-latitude land (continental land) and ocean (East China Sea and South China Sea). Results are compared with precipitations in the tropics. Yearly statistics show dominant stratiform rain events over East Asia (about 83.7% by area fraction) contributing to 50% of the total precipitation. Deep convective rains contribute 48% to the total precipitation with a 13.7% area fraction. The statistics also show the unimportance of warm convective rain in East Asia, contributing 1.5% to the total precipitation with a 2.7% area fraction. On a seasonal scale, the results indicate that the rainfall ratio of stratiform rain to deep convective rain is proportional to their rainfall pixel ratio. Seasonal precipitation patterns compare well between Global Precipitation Climatology Project rainfall and TRMM PR measurements except in summer. Studies indicate a clear opposite shift of rainfall amount and events between deep convective and stratiform rains in the meridional in East Asia, which corresponds to the alternative activities of summer monsoon and winter monsoon in the region. The vertical structures of precipitation also exhibit strong seasonal variability in precipitation Contoured Rainrate by Altitude Diagrams (CRADs) and mean profiles in the mid-latitudes of East Asia. However, these structures in the South China Sea are of a tropical type except in winter. The analysis of CRADs reveals a wide range of surface rainfall rates for most deep convective rains, especially in the continental land, and light rain rate for most stratiform rains in East Asia, regardless of over land or ocean.