A Geospatial Analysis of Convective Rainfall Regions Within Tropical Cyclones After Landfall

A Geospatial Analysis of Convective Rainfall Regions Within Tropical Cyclones After Landfall

Corene J. Matyas (University of Florida, USA)
Copyright: © 2010 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/jagr.2010020905
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In this article, the author utilizes a GIS to spatially analyze radar reflectivity returns during the 24 hours following 43 tropical cyclone (TC) landfalls. The positions of convective rainfall regions and their areal extent are then examined according to storm intensity, motion, vertical wind shear, time until extratropical transition, time after landfall, and distance from the coastline. As forward velocity increases in conjunction with an extratropical transition, these regions move outward, shift from the right side to the front of the TC, and grow in size. A similar radial shift, but with a decrease in areal extent, occurs as TCs weaken. Further quantification of the shapes of these regions could yield a more spatially accurate assessment of where TCs may produce high rainfall totals.
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Willoughby, Marks, and Feinberg (1984) describe the regions of convection that develop in both the core of a hurricane (within 100 km of the circulation center), and in the outer rainbands that can extend more than 360 km from the circulation center of the storm. Convection is enhanced by increased surface friction along the coastline during landfall (Tuleya, 1994; Frank & Ritchie, 1999), and fast tangential winds can advect moisture counterclockwise into the left front quadrant in the core of a hurricane (Parrish, Burpee, Marks, & Grebe, 1982). Konrad, Meaux, and Meaux (2002) found that intense TCs have increased rainfall near the core of the storm. On the other hand, tropical depressions have very little organized convection in their core (Frank & Ritchie, 1999). These findings suggest that storm intensity could exhibit a strong relationship with both the location of convection relative to the circulation center of the storm and the size of the area covered by convective rainfall.

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