Rainfall asymmetries of landfalling tropical cyclones along the South China coast

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalNot applicablepeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-220
Journal / PublicationMeteorological Applications
Issue number2
Early online date26 Sep 2018
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019


The rainfall distribution associated with landfalling tropical cyclones (TCs) along the South China coast are examined using radar data from Hong Kong Observatory (HKO). This preliminary study relates the landfall direction, and possible rotations/transitions of TC rainfall asymmetries before and after the landfall. Three types of landfalling TCs on the South China coast are categorized: from the east, normal to the coast and from the southwest. For those from the east, the rainfall maximum rotates anticyclonically from the southwest before later landfall to the northwest. TCs making landfall perpendicular to the coast have a rainfall maximum remaining in the southwest quadrant throughout the landfall process. For TCs making landfall from the southwest, the rainfall maximum rotates cyclonically from the southeast before later landfall to the northeast. The relative importance of the impact of land properties and vertical wind shear on these rainfall asymmetries is investigated by using a numerical model. Sensitivity tests show that the rotations/transitions of landfalling TC rainfall asymmetry appear to be insensitive to land properties (e.g. moisture availability, surface friction and topography), but result primarily from changes in the orientations of the vertical wind shear in the environment. However, the surface friction of the landmass appears to contribute to the enhancement of rainfall intensity.

Research Area(s)

  • asymmetry, land property, landfall, rainfall, tropical cyclone

Citation Format(s)