Pulwarty, R. S., R. Barry, C. Hurst, K. Sellinger, and L. Mogollon, 1998: Precipitation on the Venezuelan Andes in the context of regional climate. Meteor. Atmos. Phys., 16, 217-237.


Rainfall regimes are primarily unimodal in central and eastern Venezuela but bimodal (peaks in May-June and September-October-November with a minimum in July-August) in the northwest. There is a sharp transition across the Andes suggesting a topographic-circulation connection. However, a mid-summer minimum also occurs at other locations in Venezuela and Central America during individual years. This paper addresses the nature and control of the regimes including the role of large-scale circulation features and convection as indicated by outgoing longwave radiation data. Altitudinal characteristics of precipitation in the Andes and their spatial variability are also investigated. The development of the minimum within the rainy season annual cycle is shown to be related to the combined effects of the evolution of sea surface temperatures in the east Pacific warm pool and reinforced in the area of the Andes by enhanced easterlies during July and August.