Trends in Rainday Frequency in the United States

Investigator(s): Rudy Bartels, Barry Keim, Alan Black
Research Dates: 2015 - 2017
Affiliate Organization(s): Louisiana State University • Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville

Climate over the last century has raised questions about climate change and one of the more important variables that may undergo change is precipitation. Precipitation can affect many sectors including agriculture, socio-economic activities and hazard management. This dissertation will address the temporal aspect of precipitation using 178 first order stations in the lower 48 States for a 65-year span, 1951-2015. The three objectives of this dissertation are to perform (1) an annual analysis of the frequency of rain days in the United States and changing magnitudes of daily rainfall, (2) monthly and seasonal rain day frequency and magnitudes in the United States, and (3) hourly rain frequency and magnitudes trends throughout the United States. Similar methods will be used throughout these studies including both parametric and non-parametric trend analyses. Methods include a regression analysis testing frequency vs. time, magnitude vs. time, and frequency vs. magnitude. Other methods include the Mann-Kendall test for trends and a Spearman’s correlation analysis. Results will help us better understand changing precipitation climates. This dissertation proposal will give a summary of past studies, methods and findings along with an action plan on the duration and work schedule for completion.

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