Storms & Precipitation

Precipitation is a critical factor in the economies of the world’s most populous countries. Rainfall and snow associated with short-term (synoptic and mesoscale) storms, annual systems (monsoons), and inter-annual processes (El Niño, decadal oscillations) impact the social, environmental, economic, and political infrastructures of nearly all nations on Earth.

In a changing climate, long-term and large-scale variations in precipitation will likely be felt first in Asia, home to the world’s most populous countries.  The expected stress of population growth may be exacerbated depending on how the typical mean seasonal rainfall and the variability associated with monsoon precipitation responds to global warming.  SOEST students and staff study changes in the Asian monsoon, the physics governing storm generation, and inter-annual variability of precipitation across the Pacific Basin in order to better understand the occurrence of strong rain-bearing systems such as monsoon depressions, the frequency of severe droughts and floods, and the clustering of drought and flood events.