The Rainfall Characteristics of Taiwan

Chen, Ching-Sen; Chen, Yi-Leng
July 2003
Monthly Weather Review;Jul2003, Vol. 131 Issue 7, p1323
Academic Journal
The rainfall regimes of Taiwan are investigated using the 18-yr European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) data (1980-97), the available 38-yr daily rainfall data from 25 conventional surface stations around Taiwan (1961-98), and the 5-yr hourly rainfall data (1994-98) from 249 high-spatial-resolution Automatic Rainfall and Meteorological Telemetry System (ARMTS) stations. Rainfall over the island is usually generated either by transient disturbances embedded in the prevailing monsoon flow or local rainshowers related to terrain or local winds. With the change in the direction of the prevailing winds between the warm and cold seasons as well as a variety of transient subsynoptic disturbances occurring in different seasons (e.g., winter monsoon cold surges, springtime cold fronts, mei-yu fronts in the early summer, typhoons in summer months, and cold fronts in fall) and the presence of the Central Mountain Range, the regional rainfall climate over the island shows large spatial and temporal variabilities. Nevertheless, despite the presence of these transient disturbances, it is shown that the horizontal distributions of climatological rainfall patterns for different rainfall regimes are strongly dependent on the direction of the low-level prevailing flow with much higher rainfall on the windward side. Furthermore, the seasonal variations in rainfall amount and type (light precipitation versus convective precipitation) are also dependent on the thermodynamic stratification and the availability of moisture.


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