Stochastic Tropical Cyclone Precipitation Field Generation

by   William Kleiber, et al.

Tropical cyclones are important drivers of coastal flooding which have severe negative public safety and economic consequences. Due to the rare occurrence of such events, high spatial and temporal resolution historical storm precipitation data are limited in availability. This paper introduces a statistical tropical cyclone space-time precipitation generator given limited information from storm track datasets. Given a handful of predictor variables that are common in either historical or simulated storm track ensembles such as pressure deficit at the storm's center, radius of maximal winds, storm center and direction, and distance to coast, the proposed stochastic model generates space-time fields of quantitative precipitation over the study domain. Statistically novel aspects include that the model is developed in Lagrangian coordinates with respect to the dynamic storm center that uses ideas from low-rank representations along with circular process models. The model is trained on a set of tropical cyclone data from an advanced weather forecasting model over the Gulf of Mexico and southern United States, and is validated by cross-validation. Results show the model appropriately captures spatial asymmetry of cyclone precipitation patterns, total precipitation as well as the local distribution of precipitation at a set of case study locations along the coast.



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