Extreme weather: World-record rainfalls during tropical cyclone gamede

Hubert Quetelard, Pierre Bessemoulin, Randall Cerveny, Thomas C. Peterson, Andrew Burton, Yadowsun Boodhoo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Commission for Climatology (CC1) evaluation process is applied to two extreme rainfall records occurring at Cratère Commerson on La Réunion Island during the passage of the major Tropical Cyclone (TC) Gamede for inclusion into the WMO CCI World Weather and Climate Extremes Archive. In February 2007, TC Gamede made two approaches to La Réunion Island as it traversed a rather complex path in the Indian Ocean. Gamede's main feature was massive rainfall accumulation inland, with several 3- and 4-day rainfall totals exceeding 2 m. Specifically, an extreme rainfall rate of 3,929 mm over 72 h was recorded at Cratère Commerson, well above the previous world record of 3,240 mm that had been measured at Grand-Ilet during TC Hyacinthe in 1980. In addition, the Cratère Commerson rain gauge registered a rainfall total of 4,869 mm over 4 days; also well above the previous world record. The evaluation committee found that consistent regional rainfall measurements, reliable calibrated equipment, and correct recording procedures were followed throughout the event. Problems with potential wind-induced measurement errors were discussed, but the committee consensus is that such errors tend to underestimate rather than overestimate rainfall accumulations. As shown by analysis of this event, the validation process for the WMO CCI Weather and Climate Extremes Archive provides essential documentation and certification for weather extremes across the world.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)603-608
Number of pages6
JournalBulletin of the American Meteorological Society
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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