Quantifying the effects of long-term climate change on tropical cyclone rainfall using a cloud-resolving model: Examples of two landfall typhoons in Taiwan

Chung-Chieh Wang, Bo Xun Lin, Cheng-Ta Chen, Shih How Lo

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To quantify the effects of long-term climate change on typhoon rainfall near Taiwan, cloud-resolving simulations of Typhoon (TY) Sinlaku and TY Jangmi, both in September 2008, are performed and compared with sensitivity tests where these same typhoons are placed in the climate background of 1950-69, which is slightly cooler and drier compared to themodern climate of 1990-2009 computed using NCEP-NCAR reanalysis data. Using this strategy, largely consistent responses are found in themodel although only two cases are studied. In control experiments, bothmodern-day typhoons yield more rainfall than their counterpart in the sensitivity test using past climate, by about 5%-6% at 200-500km from the center for Sinlaku and roughly 4%-7% within 300 km of Jangmi, throughout much of the periods simulated. In both cases, the frequency of more-intense rainfall (20 to >50mmh-1) also increases by about 5%-25%and the increase tends to be larger toward higher rain rates. Results fromthe water budget analysis, again quite consistent between the two cases, indicate that the increased rainfall from the typhoons in the modern climate is attributable to both a moister environment (by 2.5%-4%) as well as, on average, a more active secondary circulation of the storm. Thus, a changing climate may already have had a discernible impact on TC rainfall near Taiwan. While an overall increase in TC rainfall of roughly 5%may not seemlarge, it is certainly not insignificant considering that the long-termtrend observed in the past 40-50 yr, whatever the causes might be, may continue for many decades in the foreseeable future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-85
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Climate
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jan 1



  • Climate change
  • Cloud resolving models
  • North Pacific Ocean
  • Rainfall
  • Tropical cyclones
  • Water budget

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science

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