Global climatology of rainfall rates and lifetime accumulated rainfall in tropical cyclones: Influence of cyclone basin, cyclone intensity and cyclone size

Lavender, Sally L. and McBride, John L. (2021) Global climatology of rainfall rates and lifetime accumulated rainfall in tropical cyclones: Influence of cyclone basin, cyclone intensity and cyclone size. International Journal of Climatology, 41 (S1). E1217-E1235. ISSN 0899-8418


Abstract

Seventeen years of 3-hr, 0.25° resolution, precipitation data from the Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM) multi-satellite precipitation analysis (TMPA) product are used to develop a global climatology of precipitation in tropical cyclones (TCs). Due to very large SDs for rainfall in each stratification by intensity class or cyclone basin, our methodology concentrates on frequency distributions and percentage representation in different rainfall rate categories. The stratifications reveal that the TC rainfall climatologies are dependent on three inter-related factors: TC intensity, TC size and TC basin. The interdependence of the three is examined. The distributions of TC intensity classes in the different basins are not a significant contributor to the fact that certain basins (Northwest Pacific, North Atlantic) have higher TC rainfall rates than other basins (Northeast Pacific, South Indian). In contrast to this, the distributions of TC size classes between basins are a significant contributor to why some basins are wetter than others. A climatology is also presented of lifetime accumulated rainfall (LAR) in TCs. The record LAR belongs to hurricane Ivan in 2004, with 300 km3 of rain over the 0–350 km radius, and 432 km3 over 0–500 km. The largest LAR values occur almost exclusively in two cyclone basins: The Northwest Pacific and the North Atlantic. Not unexpectedly, LAR is determined primarily by TC duration, which accounts for around 70% of the variance. Examination of the full 17-year dataset reveals a decreasing trend in both median and extreme TC rainfall rates in all basins except the Northeast Pacific. However, mechanisms responsible for this decrease are yet to be identified and may be primarily due to the sample size or data inhomogeneities. The difference between the trends and those expected from physical principles is a concern which we hope will be taken up by other investigators.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Life Sciences and the Environment - Centre for Applied Climate Sciences (1 Aug 2018 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Life Sciences and the Environment - Centre for Applied Climate Sciences (1 Aug 2018 -)
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2020 05:32
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2021 23:59
Uncontrolled Keywords: climatology, cyclone intensity, cyclone size, rainfall, trends, tropical cyclone
Fields of Research (2008): 04 Earth Sciences > 0401 Atmospheric Sciences > 040105 Climatology (excl.Climate Change Processes)
Fields of Research (2020): 37 EARTH SCIENCES > 3702 Climate change science > 370202 Climatology
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): D Environment > 96 Environment > 9610 Natural Hazards > 961099 Natural Hazards not elsewhere classified
D Environment > 96 Environment > 9602 Atmosphere and Weather > 960299 Atmosphere and Weather not elsewhere classified
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/joc.6763
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/39416

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