Characteristics of rainfall during tropical cyclone periods in Taiwan

K. K W Cheung*, L. R. Huang, C. S. Lee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)
6 Downloads (Pure)


Due to the Central Mountain Range with an elevation up to about 4 km, the amount and distribution of rainfall in Taiwan associated with typhoons or tropical cyclones (TCs) depends not only on the distribution of convection within the TCs (internal structure) and influences from monsoon-scale environmental flow, but also on the orographic effect. This study analyzes the spatial and temporal characteristics of rainfall associated with 62 TC cases that affected Taiwan by using observations from the 371 automatic rain stations available in the period 1989-2002. It is found from the climatology maps that highly different rainfall distributions occurred for TCs that approached the Taiwan area from different directions. By performing objective clustering analysis of the rainfall time series of all the rain gauges, several characteristic temporal rainfall profiles are obtained. The geographic distribution of rain gauges that possess a particular temporal profile is also consistent with the possible TC track types that bring maximum rain to the Taiwan area at different times. Based on data in the 1989-2002 period, the development of a TC rainfall climatology-persistence (CLIPER) model is described. CLIPER is an optimized combination of climatology and persistence with different relative weighting for different forecast periods. Independent cases (other than the model development database) during 2003-2004 are used to validate the model. Objective measures like equitable threat score and bias score show that CLIPER's skill is acceptable for practical applications for 24-h rain threshold below 100 mm. However, the underestimation bias for more heavy rainfall is serious and CLIPER seems to have better performance for the northwestern Taiwan than for the other locations. Future directions for improvement of the CLIPER model are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1463-1474
Number of pages12
JournalNatural Hazards and Earth System Sciences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 24 Nov 2008

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2008. Originally published in Natural hazards and earth system sciences, Vol. 8, No. 6, pp. 1463-1474. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


Dive into the research topics of 'Characteristics of rainfall during tropical cyclone periods in Taiwan'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this