26th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology


Climatology of heavy rainfall associated with tropical cyclones affecting the central Appalachians

James Hudgins, NOAA/NWSFO, Blacksburg, VA; and S. Keighton, K. Kostura, and J. Jackson

Over 50 years of rainfall events associated with tropical cyclones that affected the central Appalachians were examined. Tracks of tropical cyclones (or tropical depression remnants) that passed within 500 km of the National Weather Service Office in Blacksburg, VA were compared with associated rainfall analyses of the Appalachian region in Virginia, West Virginia, and Northwest North Carolina. In addition, surface and upper air analyses were used to determine the relative influence of factors such as upslope flow, overrunning and boundary interaction, and deep layer shear in relation to the cyclone track on the specific location and amounts of precipitation. The speed of the cyclone movement across or along the Appalachians, as well as intensity of the cyclone were also examined. The rainfall climatology was divided into categories based on the location the tropical cyclone made landfall, as well as the relative effects of the various factors such as upslope flow, overrunning, or shear on the rainfall totals. Seasonal aspects of the climatology, i.e., which specific months were favored for tropical cyclone activity in the region, including the most extreme rainfall from these storms, were also analyzed.

These data were compiled in order to provide forecasters with a climatological database of tropical cyclones affecting the area, and the rainfall from these events. Results of the study will aid forecasters when assessing the potential effects of future tropical cyclone tracks and their rainfall impact on the central Appalachians. Examples of some of the more significant rainfall events and the associated tropical cyclone tracks and depiction of other key factors will be shown, as well as the monthly distribution of all the events and composite of all tracks evaluated during this 50 year period.

extended abstract  Extended Abstract (300K)

Poster Session 1, Posters
Wednesday, 5 May 2004, 1:30 PM-1:30 PM, Richelieu Room

Previous paper  Next paper

Browse or search entire meeting

AMS Home Page