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  • Author or Editor: Olivier P. Prat x
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Olivier P. Prat
and
Brian R. Nelson

Abstract

The authors evaluate the contribution of tropical cyclones (TCs) to daily precipitation extremes over land for TC-active regions around the world. From 1998 to 2012, data from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Multisatellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA 3B42) showed that TCs account for an average of 3.5% ± 1% of the total number of rainy days over land areas experiencing cyclonic activity regardless of the basin considered. TC days represent between 13% and 31% of daily extremes above 4 in. day−1, but can account locally for the large majority (>70%) or almost all (≈100%) of extreme rainfall even over higher-latitude areas marginally affected by cyclonic activity. Moreover, regardless of the TC basin, TC-related extremes occur preferably later in the TC season after the peak of cyclonic activity.

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Olivier P. Prat
and
Brian R. Nelson

Abstract

The objective of this paper is to characterize the precipitation amounts originating from tropical cyclones (TCs) in the southeastern United States during the tropical storm season from June to November. Using 12 years of precipitation data from the Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM), the authors estimate the TC contribution on the seasonal, interannual, and monthly precipitation budget using TC information derived from the International Best Track Archive for Climate Stewardship (IBTrACS). Results derived from the TRMM Multisatellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA) 3B42 showed that TCs accounted for about 7% of the seasonal precipitation total from 1998 to 2009. Rainfall attributable to TCs was found to contribute as much as 8%–12% for inland areas located between 150 and 300 km from the coast and up to 15%–20% for coastal areas from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle, southern Florida, and coastal Carolinas. The interannual contribution varied from 1.3% to 13.8% for the period 1998–2009 and depended on the TC seasonal activity, TC intensity, and TC paths as they traveled inland. For TCs making landfall, the rainfall contribution could be locally above 40% and, on a monthly basis, TCs contributed as much as 20% of September rainfall. The probability density functions of rainfall attributable to tropical cyclones showed that the percentage of rainfall associated with TC over land increased with increasing rain intensity and represent about 20% of heavy rainfall (>20 mm h−1), while TCs account for less than 5% of all seasonal precipitation events.

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