Zone of maximum precipitation

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zone of maximum precipitation

The elevation band on a mountain or orographic barrier that receives the greatest precipitation for a seasonal or annual average.

Typically, precipitation increases with height upward from the base of mountains, but, if the peaks are high enough, eventually a level is reached where precipitation decreases with height (precipitation inversion). The decrease often occurs because the cooler air at higher altitudes holds less moisture, so less water vapor is available to condense and precipitate. The level where the increases with height become decreases marks the zone of maximum precipitation. According to Miller (1961), the altitude of the zone, often between 1 and 2 km, "varies slightly from place to place, is lower in tropic than temperate zones, in humid climates than in arid, in the cold season than the hot, in the wet season than in the dry."
See also orographic precipitation.

Miller, A. A. 1961. Climatology. Methuen,. p. 39.