Analysis of 2002 and 2003 warm-season precipitation from the North American monsoon experiment event rain gauge network

David J. Gochis, Alejandro Jimenez, Christopher J. Watts, Jaime Garatuza-Payan, W. James Shuttleworth

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Abstract

Analyses of rainfall characteristics and their linkage to physiographic features are made from the North American monsoon experiment (NAME) Event Rain Gauge Network (NERN) in northwest Mexico. The findings are based on the network configuration for the 2002 and 2003 warm seasons. Despite the relatively short record used, a clearer structure of core-region monsoon rainfall is beginning to emerge. In agreement with earlier, coarser-scale studies, the seasonal precipitation maximum overlies the western slope of the Sierra Madre Occidental but does not strictly parallel a particular elevation band. It is shown that the distance to the Gulf of California and, potentially, the configuration of the terrain profile may also play an important role in determining where the axis of maximum precipitation lies. The diurnal cycles of precipitation frequency and intensity are shown to have distinct relationships to terrain elevation that are qualitatively similar to those observed over the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains in the central-western United States. The relationship between precipitation and gulf surge events occurring during the summer of 2003 is also explored.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2938-2953
Number of pages16
JournalMonthly Weather Review
Volume132
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2004

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science

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