Temporal statistics: An application in snowfall climatology

J. A. Harrington, Randall Cerveny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


A method is introduced for the analysis of temporal distributions of climatic data based on a comparison of a variable’s frequency distribution in the time dimension to a standard bell-shaped curve through time. The following statistics are defined using mean monthly snowfall data: the temporal mean, which is the average time for accumulation of 50% of the annual snowfall total; the temporal standard deviation, which characterizes the mean annual spread of snowfall accumulation about the mean; temporal skewness, which characterizes the symmetry of the annual snowfall distribution; temporal kurtosis, which measures the peakedness of the annual distribution; and temporal correlation, which quantifies the degree of association between two temporal distributions. Analysis of snowfall data demonstrates the utility of temporal statistics for quantifying temporal and geographic variations in a climatic variable’s seasonal distribution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)337-353
Number of pages17
JournalPhysical Geography
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1988


  • Climatology
  • Snowfall
  • Temporal statistics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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