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CloudSat tropical cyclone database




Tourville, Natalie Dawn, author
Stephens, Graeme L., 1952-, advisor
DeMaria, Mark, committee member
Eykholt, Richard Eric, 1956-, committee member
Maloney, Eric D., committee member

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CloudSat (CS), the first 94 GHz space borne cloud profiling radar (CPR), launched in 2006 to study the vertical distribution of clouds. Not only are CS observations revealing inner vertical cloud details of water and ice globally but CS overpasses of tropical cyclones (TC's) are providing a new and exciting opportunity to study the vertical structure of these storm systems. CS TC observations are providing first time vertical views of TC's and demonstrate a unique way to observe TC structure remotely from space. Since December 2009, CS has intersected every globally named TC (within 1000 km of storm center) for a total of 5,278 unique overpasses of tropical systems (disturbance, tropical depression, tropical storm and hurricane/typhoon/cyclone (HTC)). In conjunction with the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), each CS TC overpass is processed into a data file containing observational data from the afternoon constellation of satellites (A-TRAIN), Navy's Operational Global Atmospheric Prediction System Model (NOGAPS), European Center for Medium range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF) model and best track storm data. This study will describe the components and statistics of the CS TC database, present case studies of CS TC overpasses with complementary A-TRAIN observations and compare average reflectivity stratifications of TC's across different atmospheric regimes (wind shear, SST, latitude, maximum wind speed and basin). Average reflectivity stratifications reveal that characteristics in each basin vary from year to year and are dependent upon eye overpasses of HTC strength storms and ENSO phase. West Pacific (WPAC) basin storms are generally larger in size (horizontally and vertically) and have greater values of reflectivity at a predefined height than all other basins. Storm structure at higher latitudes expands horizontally. Higher vertical wind shear (≥ 9.5 m/s) reduces cloud top height (CTH) and the intensity of precipitation cores, especially in HTC strength storms. Average zero and ten dBZ height thresholds confirm WPAC storms loft precipitation sized particles higher into the atmosphere than in other basins. Two CS eye overpasses (32 hours apart) of a weakening Typhoon Nida in 2009 reveal the collapse of precipitation cores, warm core anomaly and upper tropospheric ice water content (IWC) under steady moderate shear conditions.


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tropical cyclone
Cyclones -- Tropics
Cyclones -- Tracking
remote sensing
Satellite meteorology
passive microwave instruments
Artificial satellites in remote sensing
Hurricanes -- Tropics


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