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The general properties of the gamma distribution, which has several applications in meteorology, are discussed. A short review of the general properties of good statistical estimators is given. This is applied to the gamma distribution to show that the maximum likelihood estimators are jointly sufficient. A new, simple approximation of the likelihood solutions is given, and the efficiency of the fitting procedure is computed.doi:10.1175/1520-0493(1958)086<0117:anotgd>2.0.co;2 fatcat:gkwmpvjkbvhwvklnbvkidsoxvq