A classification scheme for landfalling tropical cyclones based on precipitation variables derived from GIS and ground radar analysis
Landfalling tropical cyclones present a multitude of hazards that threaten life and property to coastal and inland communities. These hazards are most commonly categorized by the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Potential Disaster Scale. Currently, there is not a system or scale that categorizes tropical cyclones by precipitation and flooding, which is the primary cause of fatalities and property damage from landfalling tropical cyclones. This research compiles ground based radar data (Nexrad Level-III) in the U.S. and analyzes tropical cyclone precipitation data in a GIS platform. Twenty-six landfalling tropical cyclones from 1995 to 2008 are included in this research where they were classified using Cluster Analysis. Precipitation and storm variables used in classification include: rain shield area, convective precipitation area, rain shield decay, and storm forward speed. Results indicate six distinct groups of tropical cyclones based on these variables.