Factors Leading to Extreme Precipitation on Dominica from Tropical Storm Erika 2015
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Factors Leading to Extreme Precipitation on Dominica from Tropical Storm Erika 2015

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  • Journal Title:
    Monthly Weather Review
  • Description:
    Tropical cyclones are generally characterized by strong rotating winds, and yet, the associated rainfall can be equally destructive. Tropical Storm Erika (2015) is an example of such a cyclone whose heavy rainfall south of the storm center was responsible for significant loss of life and property. Tropical Storm Erika was a weak tropical storm in a sheared environment that passed through the Lesser Antilles on 27 August 2015. Radar and rain gauges measured at least a half meter of rainfall on the Commonwealth of Dominica in about 5 h. In this study, an analysis of several observational datasets showed that the combination of a sheared environment, dry northern sector, and mesovortex contributed to the significant storm precipitation. The sheared environment affected the storm structure, causing it to weaken, but also organized convection and precipitation in the region that passed over Dominica. Furthermore, a mesovortex embedded within the storm persisted over Dominica, leading to enhanced rainfall totals. Understanding the factors leading to heavy rainfall for this case is important for future prediction of similar weak, sheared tropical storms passing near mountainous islands.
  • Source:
    Monthly Weather Review, 146(2), 525-541
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