Selection of Data for Tropical Cyclone Rainfall Studies


  • Donald Brandes


Rainfall which occurs during the passage of a hurricane or tropical storm center several hundred miles away mayor may not be directly related to the passing tropical cyclone. Satellite remote sensing imagery may be used to determine the areal distribution of clouds associated with the tropical cyclone and reveal the areas where rainfall was directly attributable to such a storm. Satellite imagery, however, exists only from 1960 to the present, and is difficult to obtain for 1960 through 1968. No such record of the  continuity of cloud coverage is available for earlier times. Without knowing if an area was covered by clouds which emanated from a tropical system, it is not possible to determine with certainty if rain which fell at a given place was the result of the passing tropical cyclone or of other local or extra-tropical causes.