Rainy Season Features for the Alcântara Launch Center

Urias Andrade Pinheiro, Marcos Daisuke Oyama



The rainy season features for the Alcântara Launch Center region (2°S-3°S; 44°W-45°W), located at the northern coast of Brazil, were obtained by using the Climate Prediction Center /National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration daily precipitation data from 1979 to 2012 accumulated to pentads. The rainy season onset (demise) was defined as the first pentad when precipitation is greater (lower) than the climatological annual average, and this behavior lasts for three out of the four following pentads. The average rainy season features were: 28 January as onset day; 16 June as demise day; 140 days as length; 1527 mm as total precipitation (about 80% of the annual value); and 10.9 mm day-1 as intensity (rain rate). The uncertainty on these climatological values due to the use of different precipitation datasets was estimated as few days for the onset/demise days and length, 100 mm for the total precipitation and about 1 mm day-1 for the intensity. Except for intensity, the rainy season features showed large interannual variability: standard variation of about one month for onset/demise days, and coefficient of variation of 33 and 40% for length and total precipitation, respectively. The three-week period between 24 March and 13 April belonged to the rainy season of all years. In general, longer (shorter) duration was related to early (late) onset, late (early) demise, and higher (lower) total precipitation. Within the rainy season, on an average, precipitation was lower than 0.1 mm day-1 in only four to five days; therefore, the occurrence of “no-rain” days was rather uncommon.


Precipitation; Climatology; Brazilian space program

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.