A study of thirty years of July and August hourly precipitation data for Omaha, Nebraska
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A study of thirty years of July and August hourly precipitation data for Omaha, Nebraska

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    Warm season precipitation in the north central area of the United States (U.S.) has long been known to have a pronounced nocturnal preference. The physical causes of this phenomenon are still subject to debate, and additional information about its characteristics might shed more light on the causative mechanisms.

    For this reason we have analyzed the hourly precipitation data for one station for a reasonably long period of time, 30 years (1955-84), to make the results as meaningful as possible. Omaha, Nebraska was chosen as the pilot station since it is near the heart of the nocturnal precipitation belt. Fig. 3 of Wallace (1975) shows Omaha to have a maximum of frequency of greater than 2.54 inn h-1 at about 0400 CST (all times are CST herein) in the summer with a large amplitude. Fig. 4 (for events of 2.54 mm h-1 or more) of Balling (1985) shows that a small area in southeastern Nebraska appears to have the strongest tendency for a nocturnal maximum.

    We will show results for 2-, 6-, and 12-hour periods, and for limits of Trace, .25, 1, 12, 25, and 50 mm. For simplicity, the conversion from the original records, which were in inches, to metric was accomplished by defining the inch to be 25.0 mm, rather than the exact value of 25.4 mm when defining class limits.

    The months of July and August were chosen for study since they are the warmest of the year on the average and have the most pronounced diurnal cycle.

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