Typhoon Morakot struck Taiwan during 6-9 August 2009, and it produced the highest rainfall (approaching 3000 mm) and caused the worst damage in the past 50 yr. Typhoon-monsoon flow interactions with mesoscale convection, the water vapor supply by the monsoon flow, and the slow moving speed of the storm are the main reasons for the record-breaking precipitation. Analysis of the typhoon track reveals that the steering flow, although indeed slow, still exceeded the typhoon moving speed by approximately 5 km h21 (1 km h215 0.28 m s21) during the postlandfall period on 8 August, when the rainfall was the heaviest. The Cloud- Resolving Storm Simulator (CReSS) is used to study the dynamics of the slow storm motion toward the northnorthwest upon leaving Taiwan. The control simulations with 3-km grid size compare favorably with the observations, including the track, slow speed, asymmetric precipitation pattern, mesoscale convection, and rainfall distribution over Taiwan. Sensitivity tests with reduced moisture content reveal that not only did the model rainfall decrease but also the typhoon translation speed increased. Specifically, the simulations consistently show a discernible impact on storm motion by as much as 50%, as the storms with full moisture move slower (;5 km h21), while those with limited moisture (#25%) move faster (;10 km h21). Thus, in addition to a weak steering flow, the prolonged asymmetric precipitation in Typhoon Morakot also contributed to its very slow motion upon leaving Taiwan, and both lengthened the heavy-rainfall period and increased the total rainfall amount. The implications of a realistic representation of cloud microphysics from the standpoint of tropical cyclone track forecasts are also briefly discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atmospheric Science