22 Geospatial properties of tropical cyclone rain bands as detected by ground-based radar

Monday, 7 January 2013
Exhibit Hall 3 (Austin Convention Center)
Corene J. Matyas, Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL

High rainfall totals produced by tropical cyclones (TCs) affect both coastal and inland areas as witnessed in the U.S. during the 2011 and 2012 seasons. Improving predictions of where high rainfall will occur as the TC moves inland can increase lead time for evacuations of flood-prone areas and help emergency responders select appropriate staging areas. An important step towards this goal is to quantify the spatial configurations of TC rain bands and determine how they change over time. This presentation details progress towards developing a database of the spatio-temporal properties of rain bands as detected by the Weather Surveillance Radar – 1988 Doppler (WSR-88D) network. The Warning Decision Support System Interactive Information system is utilized to perform quality control on Level II reflectivity data for TCs making landfall over the U.S. since 1995. Data are output in five minute intervals during the period for which each TC is within range of the WSR-88D network. After data from adjoining radars are merged onto a three-dimensional grid, geospatial analyses are performed to quantify the location, shape, and size of the rain bands. Patterns in the configuration of rain band structures are identified. In future work, similar techniques will be employed to characterize the spatial configurations of modeled TC rain bands to determine how closely they resemble the configurations of observed rain bands.
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