Pure and Applied Geophysics

, Volume 176, Issue 1, pp 441–461 | Cite as

Moisture Budget of the Tropical Cyclones Formed over the Bay of Bengal: Role of Soil Moisture After Landfall

  • N. Nanaji Rao
  • V. Brahmananda Rao
  • S. S. V. S. RamakrishnaEmail author
  • B. R. Srinivasa Rao


In the present study, the water budget of the Bay of Bengal tropical cyclones at varying intensities is analyzed. Results show that rainfall is not directly related to the intensities of tropical cyclones. A secondary peak in precipitation after landfall causes huge damage through floods and mud slides. The analysis of the water budget shows that the moisture flux convergence was the dominant term before landfall and contributes to 61% of the rainfall, while the remaining 39% is contributed by evaporation. After landfall, evaporation contributed 63% of the rainfall and 37% of rainfall was contributed by moisture flux convergence. The contribution of evaporation changed little with time in all the 12 case studies. Out of the 12 cyclones of varying intensities, seven cyclones either showed a secondary peak in precipitation or maintained a high rainfall over land. For the high rainfall over land, after the landfall, soil moisture was found to be important both in the observation and simulations of the Weather Research and Forecasting model. The predicted cyclone track errors are reduced in the model experiment with soil moisture, while the predicted cyclone intensity errors are less in the experiment without soil moisture. Accurate soil-moisture data are required for better prediction of cyclone track and their intensities.


Tropical cyclones moisture budget precipitation evaporation landfall WRF–ARW model 



Plots in this work are made using the GrADS, software which is freely available online. The authors are thankful to the Indian Meteorological Department for making available all the observations for validation.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. Nanaji Rao
    • 1
  • V. Brahmananda Rao
    • 1
  • S. S. V. S. Ramakrishna
    • 1
    Email author
  • B. R. Srinivasa Rao
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Meteorology and OceanographyAndhra UniversityVisakhapatnamIndia

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