Orographic influences on the multiscale statistical properties of precipitation

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A case study consisting of three consecutive orographic thunderstorms that occurred on 27 June 1995 in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia is examined from the perspective of relating the surrounding meteorological forcings and underlying orography to the multiscale structure of the rainfall fields. The statistical framework for this multiscale characterization is cascade based and offers a parsimonious parameterization, which can be used in future studies for the purposes of stochastically downscaling rainfall fields. Sequences of radar-derived rainfall maps provide data with which to characterize the multiscale statistical structure and variability of the rainfall. In this case study, rainfall falling at higher topographic elevations was shown to be more intermittent and more organized than rainfall at lower elevations. This trend is contrary to previous studies analyzing the multiscale structure of orographic rainfall and is argued to be the direct result of differing meteorological factors for this type of storm such as the presence of warm rain processes and leeside orographic forcing.

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Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres