Spatial characteristics of rain fields associated with tropical cyclones landfalling over the western Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea

Authors: Yao Zhou*, Department of Geography, University of Florida, Corene Matyas, Department of Geography, University of Florida
Topics: Climatology and Meteorology, Physical Geography, Hazards, Risks, and Disasters
Keywords: Rainfall, Tropical cyclone, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea,GIS
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Napoleon D1, Sheraton 3rd Floor


The western Gulf Coast and Caribbean Coast are regions that are highly vulnerable to precipitation associated with tropical cyclones (TCs) from the North Atlantic. measured area, dispersion and displacement of light and moderate rain fields associated with 34 TCs making 51 landfalls over the western Gulf and Caribbean Coasts during 1998-2015 and explored different conditions contributing to their spatial characteristics in this region. Four metrics characterize the spatial configurations of light and moderate rainfall fields (rain rate > 2.5 mm/h and 5.0 mm/h), including area, dispersion and displacement to east/north. The spatial and temporal pattern of area, dispersion, and displacement of TCP are determined by hot spot analysis and Mann-Kendall analysis. The results show that the rainfall coverage is largest as TCs approached the western Caribbean coast, while rainfall area increases as TCs move back over the Gulf of Mexico after making landfall over the Yucatan Peninsula. The rain fields have more displacement to east and north over western and central Caribbean Sea and central Gulf of Mexico. Rainfall fields have more displacement to west and south which is over land when TCs move over the southern Gulf of Mexico. The area and dispersion of light/moderate precipitation field of TCs are mainly correlated with storm intensity and total precipitable water. The displacement of rainfall is significantly correlated with vertical wind shear, while significant influence of moisture source and land interaction on rainfall displacement can also be observed over Bay of Campeche.

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