Global positioning system (GPS) detection technology has several advantageous characteristics (i.e.
, all-weather applications, high accuracy, high spatial and temporal resolution, and low cost), and GPS tracking and monitoring techniques for water vapor have developed rapidly in recent years. The GPS-precipitable water vapor (GPS-PWV), obtained through inversion using this technology can reflect the water vapor inflow and outflow in a vertical air column above a certain area in nearly real-time, which is especially important for areas of severe water vapor variation. In this paper, we studied the relationship between GPS-PWV variation and actual precipitation. The specific aim was to identify the underlying physical mechanisms driving the variation and to further strengthen the utility of GPS-PWV in forecasts and warnings of severe convection weather. We concluded that (1) rapid rise in the GPS-PWV in the long-term low-level data predicted the arrival of precipitation and was therefore useful in weather forecasts; (2) the GPS-PWV variation was closely related with the movement of the water vapor transfer belt; (3) the atmosphere showed an unstable energy structure before the GPS-PWV increase; and (4) local motion was strongly related with the development and maintenance of precipitation.
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