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Sci Rep. 2018 May 29;8(1):8247. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-26553-8.

The degree of prevalence of similarity between outer tropical cyclone rainbands and squall lines.

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Department of Atmospheric Sciences, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan.
Department of Atmospheric Sciences, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan.


Tropical cyclone rainbands (TCRs) are not only one of the most striking and persistent features of tropical cyclones (TCs) but also one of the major causes for extreme floods as TCs approach or encounter the land area. TCRs have been traditionally considered as manifestations of atmospheric waves initiated near the eyewall or close to the TC center. However, the limited evidence from recent studies showed the possibility for TCRs to develop squall-line-like characteristics in the outer region of TCs. In this study, the degree of the prevalence for this similarity is explored by radar and surface observations from a large set of 50 outer TCRs associated with 22 TCs as they approached Taiwan. The results indicate that around 58% of outer TCRs are similar to squall lines. These outer TCRs are generally characterized by convective precipitation, an obvious convergence zone between the band-relative rear-to-front flow and front-to-rear flow at low levels, either frontward or rearward tilting updrafts, and a surface cold pool signature. The frequent similarity between the outer TCRs and squall lines documented provides important insights into the formation of organized, heavy precipitation associated with TCs.

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