Analysis of Diurnal and Semidiurnal Cycles of Precipitation over South Korea

한반도 강수의 일주기 및 반일주기 성분 분석

  • Lee, Gyu-Hwan (Division of Earth Environmental System, Pusan National University) ;
  • Seo, Kyong-Hwan (Division of Earth Environmental System, Pusan National University)
  • 이규환 (부산대학교 지구환경시스템학부) ;
  • 서경환 (부산대학교 지구환경시스템학부)
  • Received : 2008.11.28
  • Accepted : 2008.12.22
  • Published : 2008.12.31


The hourly precipitation data from 1973 to 2007 observed at 60 weather stations over Korea are used to characterize the diurnal and semidiurnal cycles of total precipitation amount, intensity and frequency and examine their spatial patterns and interannual variations. The results show that the diurnal cycle peaks in the morning (03-09LST) and the semidiurnal cycle peaks in the late afternoon (16-20LST). It is found that the spatial variations of the peak phase of diurnal or semidiurnal cycle relative to their corresponding seasonal mean cycle are considerably small (large) for total precipitation amount and intensity (frequency, respectively) in both winter and summer seasons. Also, the diurnal phase variations for individual years relative to the seasonal mean precipitation show the significant interannual variability with dominant periods of 2-5 years for all three elements of precipitation and the slightly decreasing trend in total precipitation amount and intensity. To compare the relative contributions of frequency and intensity to the diurnal and semidiurnal cycles (and their sum) of total precipitation amount, the percentage variance of each cycle of precipitation amount explained by frequency is estimated. The fractional variance accounted for by precipitation intensity is greater than that of frequency for these three cycles. All above analyses suggest that intensity plays a more important role than frequency in the diurnal variations of total precipitation amount.