Related Research Areas
Water & Energy Cycles, Weather

Distribution of rainfall in tropical cyclones is of particular interest for the quantitative precipitation forecast (QPF). Both large-scale conditions and convective-scale events influence the magnitude and spatial distribution of tropical cyclone precipitation, but their relative importance remains controversial. The central goal of the proposed work is to examine the relationship between environmental factors, precipitation and convection in tropical cyclones. The primary tool for assessing a storm's rainfall distribution and accumulation will be the Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM)-based NASA Goddard multi-satellite precipitation analysis (TRMM 3B42). The convective intensity and asymmetries will be identified using the University of Utah (UU) TRMM precipitation Feature (PF) Database.

The first objective of this proposal is to create a 9-yr (1998-2006) global tropical cyclone database including best track information, TRMM 3B42 rainfall, UU TRMM PF, and environmental parameters from the Navy Operational Global Atmospheric Prediction System (NOGAPS) analysis. A subset of landfalling storms will be identified in order to investigate the difference of the over-land and over-ocean conditions. The second objective is to find out whether there are systematic differences in the distribution and intensity of precipitation and convection in tropical cyclones in different basins and in over-land vs. over-ocean conditions. The third objective is to examine the roles of environmental forcing and convection on tropical cyclone rainfall distribution. Both of the individual and combination effects will be addressed for different basins and over-land vs. over-ocean conditions. The environmental parameters to be quantified include horizontal moisture convergence, total precipitable water, ocean moisture flux, vertical wind shear, and sea surface temperature, etc.

This proposed research is designed to address some key scientific issues and to help bridge the gaps in understanding that currently exist between precipitation, environmental forcing, and convection in tropical cyclones using the 9-yr TRMM and large-scale model analysis database. The results will quantify the different impacts of environmental influences and convective events on tropical cyclone rainfall for over-land and over-ocean stages. The improved understanding of factors influencing tropical cyclone precipitation should lead directly to improved landfall flooding prediction of this hazard. This has relevance to NASA's research objectives of "enable improved predictive capability for weather and extreme weather events" (NASA's strategic Sub-goal 3A.2).

Project PI: Haiyan Jiang/University of Utah

804 WBB,The University of UtahAtmospheric SciencesUniversity of Utah 135 S 1460 East Rm 819 (WBB) 84112-0110

Phone: (801) 587-9089



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Started: Aug 09, 2010

Last Activity: Dec 09, 2010


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