Relative to changes in annual mean and extreme precipitation, the
characterization of changes in the full distribution of precipitation
intensities remains overlooked and under-explored, despite their
critical importance to natural hazard, agriculture, and infrastructure
risk assessments. Here, we aggregate daily Global Historical Climatology
Network precipitation observations within seventeen internally
consistent NEON domains in the United States for two time periods
(1951-1980 and 1991-2020). We find statistically significant changes in
wet day precipitation distributions in fourteen of the domains–changes
primarily driven by a shift from lower to higher wet day intensities.
Patterns of robust change are geographically consistent, with increases
in the mean (4.6-7.1%) and standard deviation (20-31%) of wet day
intensity in the eastern U.S., but mixed signals in the western U.S.
Beyond their critical importance to the aforementioned societal impact
realms, these observational results can also inform climate model