The Mesoscale Distribution of Rainfall in California Rainstorms.
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CALIF
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The rainfall patterns in California, produced by six storms of the 1972-1973 winter storm season, were analyzed in detail in order to determine the mesoscale distribution of precipitation with respect to the larger-scale synoptic systems. It was found that the structure of precipitation patterns primarily reflected orographic influences rather than mesoscale circulation features intrinsic to the larger-scale system. Heaviest amounts of rainfall were concentrated primarily along the major mountain ranges with much lesser amounts in the interior valleys. Storms with fronts Class II produced more precipitation in the inland valleys and more convective type precipitation than storms without well defined fronts Class I. Storms with fronts exhibited geographically fixed bands of precipitation that paralleled the surface front. An elongation of precipitation in the direction of the 500 mb flow was found in one case study. Author