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June 2008

Researchers study monsoon in Taiwan

dragon on roof

A dragon graces the roof of a temple near Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

Mike Dixon

Mike Dixon (RAL) evaluates output from S-Pol.

About 20 NCAR researchers, led by Wen-Chau Lee (EOL), are in Taiwan at various points this month for the Terrain-influenced Monsoon Rainfall Experiment (TiMREX) field campaign, which runs May 15–June 30.

TiMREX is a joint U.S.-Taiwan project conducted on the plains and in the western mountain slope region of southern Taiwan. The research focuses on the physics of heavy rain and flood-producing convective systems—and the difficulty of forecasting such events—in a complex environment. Influences include the southwesterly summer monsoon, land-sea contrasts, mountainous terrain, and the mei-yu front (a persistent east-west zone of disturbed weather during spring stretching from the east China coast across Taiwan and eastward into the Pacific).

“There are places in Taiwan that typically have heavy rainfall, but it varies from year to year and from storm to storm,” explains Tammy Weckwerth (EOL), one of the project’s investigators. “What we’re trying to do with TiMREX is understand the processes better so that we can better predict where that rain is goi ng to fall.”

UCAR photographer Carlye Calvin spent a week in Taiwan documenting the field project. Here are a few of her shots. For more, see www.ucar.edu/communications/slideshows/timrex.









images of Taiwan
S-Pol, NCAR's transportable, ground-based Doppler radar, on site in Taiwan. Temple


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Researchers study monsoon in Taiwan

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