Precipitation, dynamical intermittency, and sporadic randomness


Journal Article

While rainfall intermittency is a dynamical phenomenon, little progress has been made in the literature on the link between rainfall intermittency and atmospheric dynamics. We present the basic dynamical models of intermittency that are phenomenologically most similar to rainfall: Pomeau-Manneville Type-III and On-Off. We then illustrate each type with both a 1-D iterative map and a corresponding stochastic process stressing the appearance of these dynamics in high-dimensional (stochastic) systems as opposed to low-dimensional chaotic systems. We show that the pdf of rainfall intensities, the pdf of "laminar phases" (periods of zero rainfall intensity), and the spectrum of the rainfall series all have power-law behavior that is broadly consistent with intermittency in the classic types. Using a seasonal analysis, we find that summer convective rainfall at daily and sub-daily scales seems consistent with features of Type-III intermittency. The correspondence with Type-III intermittency and a preliminary entropic analysis further suggest that rainfall may be an example of sporadic randomness, blending deterministic and stochastic components. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Rigby, JR; Porporato, A

Published Date

  • August 1, 2010

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 33 / 8

Start / End Page

  • 923 - 932

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0309-1708

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.advwatres.2010.04.008

Citation Source

  • Scopus