I am trying to figure out what type of precipitation lifting mechanism occurs in a area that is unknown but I know some facts about the climate. So I know that there are 4 precipitation lifting mechanisms - frontal, convection, convergent and orographic. So based off the extreme daily precipitation I need to choose one of these and back up my statement. So I have concluded that the area is inland because the temperature range is from -10 to 20, which is larger than most coastal temperature ranges. So I am hoping that this fact will eliminate one of the lifting mechanisms. So the extreme daily precipitation goes as follows.

Dec: 76.4

What type of lifting mechanism is responsible for the most extreme precipitation events? Then I need to back it up with the amount of days with the winds greater then 52km/hr which is only 8, and the yearly average wind speed is only 12.9.

My thinking is that I don't believe its orographic. But I am not sure which it is out of the other 3. There is not much wind all year around so this must be a factor, and there is a moderated amount of extreme precipitation all year around(shown by the data I provided)

  • $\begingroup$ Haven't come across that categorization for precipitation... frontal is fronts of course, orographic is terrain, and I'm guessing convection is due to afternoon heating given the term. But what is convergence? Sea breeze and such? Fronts have convergence (as do the others truly), so it's a strange term to me. Plus I'm not sure where you'd categorize mechanisms such as upper level lows and hurricanes in your breakdown (though I suppose they're unlikely to be the dominant precipitation mechanism)? But help me get what you mean by convergence? $\endgroup$ Nov 8, 2016 at 18:04
  • $\begingroup$ Strange, I hadn't come across that breakdown before, I guess this is one of those topics where meteorologists are perplexed by climatology categorization. We tend to see fronts and surface lows as connected entities, they are all pressure troughing that cause convergence. And even seabreezes and outflow boundaries are basically fronts. Can't imagine what region would be classified as convergence (if you have lows, you have fronts as well... and if you have precipitation from a sea breeze, you'll have decent free-air convection as well). But I digress. Just hard to help when confused by terms! $\endgroup$ Nov 8, 2016 at 18:15
  • $\begingroup$ I do have quite a few thoughts if you want this. But tell me this: what might you be expecting to see in the precipitation distribution for each influence? $\endgroup$ Nov 9, 2016 at 0:54

1 Answer 1


Sometimes it is obvious, but it may not be possible to attribute the rainfall mechanism from the daily rainfall. Also, the four lifting mechanisms are not 'either / or'. There are frequently combinations of the above, particularly in respect of the most extreme events.


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