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Detection of Spatial Rainfall Variation over the Andean Region Demonstrated by Satellite-Based Observations

  • shrestha, dibas
  • sharma, shankar
  • talchabhadel, rocky
  • deshar, rashila
  • hamal, kalpana
  • khadka, nitesh
  • nakamura, kenji
Publication Date
Sep 16, 2021
DOI: 10.3390/atmos12091204
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Topography has an important role in shaping regional and global climate systems, as it acts as a mechanical barrier to the low-level moisture flow. Thus, a complex spatial pattern of rainfall can exist over the mountainous region. Moreover, it is critical to advance our understanding of the relationship between rainfall and topography in terms of rainfall timing, frequency, and magnitude. In this study, characteristics of austral summer (December–February) precipitation are analyzed using 17-year (1998–2014) high-spatial-resolution (0.05° × 0.05°) data obtained from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Precipitation Radar (PR) over the Andean region focusing on topographic impact. We observe an interaction between precipitation patterns and topography, with clear precipitation–elevation relationships in the Andes regions. The rainfall maxima zone was observed over the higher terrain of the central and southern Andes, and the zone is attributed to frequency and intensity of rainfall, respectively. In the foothills of the central Andes, we find there was a persistent rain system when a moist, low-level flow was lifted due to topography. In contrast, steep mountain slopes and a relatively dry atmosphere modulate deep convection in the foothills of southern Andes.

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