Prediction of Rainfall Extremes Campaign in the Pacific
Extreme rainfall events cost thousands of lives and billions of dollars in damages every year. However, our understanding of their causes, and our ability to predict them, remain limited. PRECIP will address this need through an in-depth and comprehensive study of the fundamental causes of extreme rainfall events in and around Taiwan, an area that regularly experiences extreme rainfall events during the Meiyu and tropical cyclone seasons.
PRECIP will deploy EOL’s S-Pol research radar along the northwestern coast of Taiwan and Colorado State University’s SEAPOL research radar on Yonaguni, a small Japanese island near Taiwan’s northeastern coast. Field observational data will be collected from radiosondes, dropsondes, and disdrometers deployed across the region, and satellite data collected during the study period will also be utilized. Data will be assimilated and analyzed in conjunction with extensive mesoscale modeling to provide insights into the causes behind extreme rainfall events.
Taiwan was selected as the location for PRECIP for four key reasons:
- Extreme rainfall events are common in the area during the Meiyu and early tropical cyclone seasons
- Taiwan is a moisture-rich environment where contributing factors in addition to high atmospheric moisture can be readily studied
- Taiwan encompasses both complex terrain and an oceanic environment, making the results applicable to many regions of the world
- Taiwan has a dense meteorological observational network to augment the specialized field observations of PRECIP.
PRECIP will be coordinated with two other large-scale research projects taking place at the same time in the region: the Taiwan Ministry of Science and Technology Taiwan-area Atmospheric and Hydrological Observation and Prediction Experiment (TAHOPE), and the Japan Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research Tropical cyclones-Pacific Asian Research Campaign for Improvement of Intensity estimations/forecasts (T-PARCII).
- Improvements in forecasting extreme rainfall events will lead to better warnings, risk communication, and preparedness for these often devastating events
- Enhancements to our current understanding of orographic precipitation, water vapor transport, and model physics will have broad application to many other weather events
- The PRECIP dataset will lead to positive impacts in precipitation estimation, data assimilation, radar meteorology, and hydrology
- Coordination with TAHOPE (Taiwan) and T-PARCII (Japan) will strengthen international scientific collaboration
- PRECIP will contribute to typhoon reconnaissance and forecast assistance before and during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics
- PRECIP will provide research opportunities and experience for early career scientists, graduate and undergraduate students, and under-represented groups, including through active mentoring.