Liquid-Solid Partitioning of Precipitation along an Altitude Gradient and Its Statistical Properties: An Italian Case Study


Climate change is a living topic when dealing with modern natural sciences. The increase in the average air temperature, as measured in the last decades, is considered as the most relevant effect of climate change on the Earth system. Since the air temperature has a key role in determining the partitioning between liquid and solid precipitation events at a site, important changes in rainfall dynamics are expected, especially in mountainous areas. Thus, an important issue for modern hydrology is to determine how climate change would affect the liquid-solid partitioning of precipitation and its statistical properties. The main aim here is to determine, via statistical analysis and goodness-of-fit tests, whether the duration of precipitation events under the different forms (namely solid, liquid and mixed) may be characterized by the same probability distribution. Similar issue is tested for the volume of precipitation. For this aim, our study pays attention to hourly data collected along an altitude gradient identified through six automatic weather stations in Trentino region, northeast Italy. To distinguish the different types of events from observed heated pluviometers’ data, a partitioning procedure has been used and validated, through some disdrometer data. Sample data of duration and volume, relatively to solid, liquid and mixed events, are extracted, and univariate and bivariate statistics are calculated. Then, the two-sample Kolmogorov-Smirnov test is used to test if the data distinguished by different types of precipitation can be considered extracted from the same distribution. The results showed that in most cases, durations, as well as volumes of the different types of events, cannot be considered equally distributed. This consideration is particularly clear at high elevations.

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Avanzi, F. , Michele, C. and Ghezzi, A. (2014) Liquid-Solid Partitioning of Precipitation along an Altitude Gradient and Its Statistical Properties: An Italian Case Study. American Journal of Climate Change, 3, 71-82. doi: 10.4236/ajcc.2014.31007.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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