An investigation of warm season spatial rainfall variability in Oklahoma City
Hand, Lauren Michele
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Precipitation measurements provide essential information about the water cycle and the distribution of heat in urban environments. The study uses nine years (1998-2006) of warm-season (June-September) mean daily rainfall accumulation from both the TRMM multi-satellite precipitation analysis (TMPA) and ground-based gauge stations to examine spatial variability in warm season rainfall events around Oklahoma City as a function of prevailing wind. Application of the concentration factor (CF) analysis provided a closer look at the wind direction-rainfall relationship in a stratified manner. Results revealed that the northern and northeastern cells of the metropolitan area were relatively wet compared to other regions. The study establishes a prototype methodology for utilizing satellite-based rainfall estimates to examine rainfall modification by urbanization on global scales and in areas not well-instrumented with rain gauge or radar networks. Such research has implications for weather forecasting, urban planning, water resource management, and understanding human impact on the environment and climate.