Preprint Article Version 2 This version is not peer-reviewed

Influence of Synoptic-Scale Air Mass Conditions on Seasonal Precipitation Patterns over North Carolina

Version 1 : Received: 15 August 2019 / Approved: 20 August 2019 / Online: 20 August 2019 (03:01:27 CEST)
Version 2 : Received: 8 October 2019 / Approved: 9 October 2019 / Online: 9 October 2019 (04:38:32 CEST)

How to cite: Zarzar, C.; Dyer, J. Influence of Synoptic-Scale Air Mass Conditions on Seasonal Precipitation Patterns over North Carolina. Preprints 2019, 2019080197 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201908.0197.v2). Zarzar, C.; Dyer, J. Influence of Synoptic-Scale Air Mass Conditions on Seasonal Precipitation Patterns over North Carolina. Preprints 2019, 2019080197 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201908.0197.v2).

Abstract

This paper characterizes the influence of synoptic-scale air mass conditions on spatial and temporal patterns of precipitation in North Carolina over a 16-year period (2003-2018). National Center for Environmental Prediction Stage IV multi-sensor precipitation estimates were used to describe seasonal variations in precipitation in the context of prevailing air mass conditions classified using the spatial synoptic classification system. Spatial analyses identified significant clustering of high daily precipitation amounts distributed along the east side of the Appalachian Mountains and along the coastal plains. Significant and heterogeneous clustering was prevalent in summer months and tended to coincide with land cover boundaries and complex terrain. The summer months were dominated by maritime tropical air mass conditions whereas dry moderate air mass conditions prevailed in the winter, spring, and fall. Between the three geographic regions of North Carolina, highest precipitation amounts were received in western North Carolina during the winter and spring, and in eastern North Carolina in the summer and fall. Central North Carolina received the least amount of precipitation; however, there was substantial variability between regions due to prevailing air mass conditions. There was an observed shift toward warmer and more humid air mass conditions in the winter, spring, and fall months throughout the study period (2003-2018), indicating a shift toward air mass conditions conducive to higher daily average rain rates in North Carolina.

Subject Areas

precipitation; seasonal; airmass; spatial patterns

Comments (1)

Comment 1
Received: 9 October 2019
Commenter: Christopher Zarzar
Commenter's Conflict of Interests: Author
Comment: As recommended by the expert reviewers, we have added additional qualitative metrics to the discussion section. This includes an additional analysis decomposing the most likely conditions associated with transitional air mass days in each season. In addition, we have clarified language throughout and conducted an extensive review for minor grammatical and spelling errors. Importantly, we have updated the abbreviations for the air mass classifications (e.g. dP is now DP) to follow the format used by Sheridan (2002) and to reduce confusion with traditional air mass characterizations, such as continental polar (cP).
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