Finding Causal Gateways of Precipitation Over the Contiguous United States

Xueli Yang, Zhi Hua Wang, Chenghao Wang, Ying Cheng Lai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Identifying regions that mediate regional propagation of atmospheric perturbations is important to assessing the susceptibility and resilience of complex hydroclimate systems. Detecting the regional gateways through causal inference, can help unravel the interplay of physical processes and inform projections of future changes. In this study, we characterize the causal interactions among nine climate regions in the contiguous United States using long-term (1901–2018) precipitation data. The constructed causal networks reveal the cross-regional propagation of precipitation perturbations. Results show that the Ohio Valley region acts as an atmospheric gateway for precipitation and moisture transport in the U.S., which is largely regulated by the regional convective uplift. The findings have implications for improving predicative capacity of hydroclimate modeling of regional precipitation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2022GL101942
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 28 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • causality
  • contiguous United States
  • convergent cross mapping
  • hydroclimate system
  • precipitation
  • variability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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