Based on the Haihe river basin National Centers for Environmental Prediction/National Center for Atmospheric Research reanalysis data from 1948 to 2010 and the precipitation data of 53 hydrological stations during 1957–2010, this study analyzed the variation of water vapor content and precipitation, and investigated the correlation between them using several statistical methods. The results showed that the annual water vapor content decreased drastically from 1948 to 2010. It was comparatively high from the late 1940s to the late 1960s and depreciated from the early 1970s. From the southeast to the northwest of the Haihe river basin, there was a decrease in water vapor content. For vertical distribution, water vapor content from the ground to 700 hPa pressure level accounted for 72.9% of the whole atmospheric layer, which indicated that the water vapor of the Haihe river basin was mainly in the air close to the ground. The precipitation in the Haihe river basin during 1957–2010 decreased very slightly. According to the correlation analysis, the precipitation and water vapor content changes showed statistically positive correlation, in addition, their break points were both in the 1970s. Furthermore, the high consistency between the precipitation efficiency and precipitation demonstrates that water vapor content is one of the important factors in the formation of precipitation.

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