Storm Following Climatology Of Precipitation Associated with Winter Cyclones Originating Over the Gulf of Mexico

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  • 1 Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
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Abstract

A storm-following climatology was compiled for the precipitation distributions associated with winter cyclones that originate over the Gulf of Mexico and adjacent coastal region. The goal of this research is to investigate the roles of the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean as sources of moisture for these storms, and to investigate geographic/orographic influences on the precipitation distributions. A second objective of this research is to provide forecasters with a potential guide with which to evaluate numerical model forecasts of quantitative precipitation for these storms. A 24-y climatology (1960–1983) was compiled of storms that originated over the Gulf of Mexico and adjacent coastal region, and produced wide-spread areas of precipitation (total ≥ 25 mm). Sixty-six storms satisfied these criteria, and three dominant storm tracks were identified. Six-h totals of hourly precipitation data were objectively analysed for individual storm belonging to each of the three tracks, and grid-point values were composited in a storm-following coordinate system. Charts of mean precipitation distributions and frequency of occurrence were constructed to display the evolving precipitation fields surrounding storms belonging to each track. The resulting climatology is presented.

To provide an example of the application of the precipitation climatology, results from a GALE Case study am presented.

Abstract

A storm-following climatology was compiled for the precipitation distributions associated with winter cyclones that originate over the Gulf of Mexico and adjacent coastal region. The goal of this research is to investigate the roles of the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean as sources of moisture for these storms, and to investigate geographic/orographic influences on the precipitation distributions. A second objective of this research is to provide forecasters with a potential guide with which to evaluate numerical model forecasts of quantitative precipitation for these storms. A 24-y climatology (1960–1983) was compiled of storms that originated over the Gulf of Mexico and adjacent coastal region, and produced wide-spread areas of precipitation (total ≥ 25 mm). Sixty-six storms satisfied these criteria, and three dominant storm tracks were identified. Six-h totals of hourly precipitation data were objectively analysed for individual storm belonging to each of the three tracks, and grid-point values were composited in a storm-following coordinate system. Charts of mean precipitation distributions and frequency of occurrence were constructed to display the evolving precipitation fields surrounding storms belonging to each track. The resulting climatology is presented.

To provide an example of the application of the precipitation climatology, results from a GALE Case study am presented.

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