Monthly temperature and precipitation fields on a storm‐facing mountain front: Statistical structure and empirical parameterization

Ying Fan, Christopher J. Duffy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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This paper presents an analysis of monthly temperature (T) and precipitation (P) time series at 28 climatologic stations on the storm‐facing slope of the Wasatch Range, Utah. The goal is to examine the space‐time structure of T and P and to develop an empirical model incorporating both seasonal and elevation effects. Each time series (T or P) is decomposed into the sum of a long‐term mean, a seasonal cycle, and a residual random process. The seasonal cycle is well determined by the amplitude and phase of a few harmonics, and the residual noise is approximated by a power law form of the variance spectrum. Empirical correlations are found relating the temporal moments of altitude, allowing the construction of a parametric T‐P model as a function of altitude and season. The observed correlations are discussed within the context of the region's synoptic weather patterns. When combined with digital elevation data, the model can be used to estimate seasonal temperature and precipitation fields as input to mountain front hydrologic studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4157-4166
Number of pages10
JournalWater Resources Research
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1993


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Water Science and Technology

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