Journal cover Journal topic
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Journal topic

Journal metrics

Journal metrics

  • IF value: 4.936 IF 4.936
  • IF 5-year value: 5.615 IF 5-year
    5.615
  • CiteScore value: 4.94 CiteScore
    4.94
  • SNIP value: 1.612 SNIP 1.612
  • IPP value: 4.70 IPP 4.70
  • SJR value: 2.134 SJR 2.134
  • Scimago H <br class='hide-on-tablet hide-on-mobile'>index value: 107 Scimago H
    index 107
  • h5-index value: 63 h5-index 63
Volume 19, issue 8 | Copyright
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 19, 3617-3631, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-19-3617-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 21 Aug 2015

Research article | 21 Aug 2015

Soil moisture–precipitation coupling: observations from the Oklahoma Mesonet and underlying physical mechanisms

T. W. Ford1, A. D. Rapp2, S. M. Quiring1, and J. Blake3 T. W. Ford et al.
  • 1Department of Geography, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA
  • 2Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA
  • 3Department of Geology and Geophysics, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA

Abstract. Interactions between soil moisture and the atmosphere are driven by the partitioning of sensible and latent heating, through which soil moisture has been connected to atmospheric modifications that could potentially lead to the initiation of convective precipitation. The majority of previous studies linking the land surface to subsequent precipitation have used atmospheric reanalysis or model data sets. In this study, we link in situ observations of soil moisture from more than 100 stations in Oklahoma to subsequent unorganized afternoon convective precipitation. We use hourly next generation (NEXRAD) radar-derived precipitation to identify convective events, and then compare the location of precipitation initiation to underlying soil moisture anomalies in the morning. Overall we find a statistically significant preference for convective precipitation initiation over drier than normal soils, with over 70 % of events initiating over soil moisture below the long-term median. The significant preference for precipitation initiation over drier than normal soils is in contrast with previous studies using satellite-based precipitation to identify the region of maximum precipitation accumulation. We evaluated 19 convective events occurring near Lamont, Oklahoma, where soundings of the atmospheric profile at 06:00 and 12:00 LST are also available. For these events, soil moisture has strong negative correlations with the level of free convection (LFC), planetary boundary layer (PBL) height, and surface temperature changes between 06:00 and 12:00 LST. We also find strong positive correlations between morning soil moisture and morning-to-afternoon changes in convective available potential energy and convective inhibition. In general, the results of this study demonstrate that both positive and negative soil moisture feedbacks are important in this region of the USA.

Publications Copernicus
Download
Short summary
We combine in situ soil moisture observations with radar-derived precipitation to evaluate soil moisture feedback on convective rainfall in the US Southern Great Plains. We find strong connections between morning soil moisture and atmospheric conditions including boundary layer height, surface temperature, and relative humidity at the boundary layer top. The results of this study demonstrate both positive and negative soil moisture feedbacks are important in this region of the USA.
We combine in situ soil moisture observations with radar-derived precipitation to evaluate soil...
Citation
Share