Recently there has been considerable evidence to show that deep layers of dry dusty air moving off of the Sahara Desert into the eastern tropical Atlantic, called Saharan Air Layers (SALs) often interact with tropical cyclones during genesis and intensification stages. To better understand the resuult of these interactions a series of idealized numerical experiments were conducted to develop an understanding of these effects. The SAL affects humidity, aerosol content and wind shear. Experiments were conducted to isolate the effects of wind shear and the dry air layer, while experiments are ongoing to study the impact of elevated aerosol counts. So far results suggest that the increased wind shear associated with the SALs has the strongest impact on development compared with the dry anomaly, It was also found, that in the idealized setting, the weakened SAL storms were more sensitive to supression of development brought on by resistance to anvil expansion due to inertial stability in the upper troposphere. Results of these experiments will be presented at the oral presentation.
Tripoli, G. J.; Dunion, J.
A large number of Atlantic tropical cyclones (TCs) are found to originate from mesoscale convective vortices (MCVs) associated with the African easterly waves. These vortices are frequently observed to interact with the Saharan Air Layer (SAL) during their lifecycle. The hot and dry air in the SAL is believed to adversely affect the convection. However, the role of dust that can often be entrained into the TCs is not as clear. To study the impacts of dust embedded in the SAL as nucleating aerosols on the evolution of TCs, a series of numerical simulations initialized with an idealized pre-TC MCV are conducted using the Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (RAMS). The vortex matures into a hurricane in a zero wind environment. Three vertical profiles of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) are constructed using observations from various field campaigns to represent the clean, dusty, and extremely dusty conditions. The MCV in the heaviest dust loading environment intensified quickly in the beginning, but gradually slowed down and became the weakest storm after 72 hours. The simulation with moderate dust loading produced a stronger storm compared to that developed in the clean environment. To understand the nonlinearity of the feedbacks of the simulated MCVs to CCN concentrations, the sensitivity of the MCV's hydrometeor distribution, precipitation, latent heating/cooling distribution and wind fields are examined. Detailed microphysical budgets are derived to quantify how each process responses to changes in the CCN concentration.
Zhang, H.; McFarquhar, G. M.; Saleeby, S. M.; Cotton, W. R.
The impact of dust in the Saharan Air Layer (SAL) acting as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) on the evolution of a tropical cyclone (TC) was examined by conducting simulations initialized with an idealized pre-TC mesoscale convective vortex (MCV) using the Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (RAMS). Increasing the background CCN concentration from 100 to 1000 and 2000 cm-3 in a layer between 1 and 5 km led to increases in averaged cloud droplet number concentration, and decreases in cloud droplet mean mass diameter through the entire simulation except during the initial spin-up. Dust in the SAL as CCN influenced the TC development by inducing changes in the hydrometeor properties, modifying the storm diabatic heating distribution and thermodynamic structure, and ultimately influencing the TC intensity through complex dynamical responses. The simulated storm intensities differed by up to 22 hPa depending on CCN concentration. The impact of CCN on storm intensity was sensitive to the background giant CCN (GCCN) vertical profile and presumably other environmental factors. The physical processes responsible for the impact of dust as nucleating aerosols on TC development need to be examined in the future under a wide range of environmental conditions.
Zhang, Henian; McFarquhar, Greg M.; Saleeby, Stephen M.; Cotton, William R.
The physics of tropical cyclone formation is not well understood, and more is known about the mature hurricane than the formative mechanisms that produce it. It is believed part of the reason for this can be traced to insufficient upper-level atmospheric data. Recent observations suggest that tropical cyclones are initiated by asymmetric interactions associated with migratory upper-level potential vorticity disturbances and low-level disturbances. Favored theories of cyclones formation, however, focus on internal processes associated with cumulus convection and/or air-sea interaction. This work focuses on external mechanisms of cyclone formation and, using both a two- and three-dimensional moist geostrophic momentum model, investigates the role of upper-level potential vorticity disturbances on the formation process. A conceptual model of tropical cyclone formation is proposed, and implications of the theory are discussed. 71 refs., 5 figs., 1 tab.
Montgomery, M.T.; Farrell, B.F. (Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA (United States))
Tropical cyclones rank as the costliest natural disaster in the United States. They are also the most expensive and deadly natural catastrophe affecting much of southeast Asia. Skilful seasonal and intraseasonal forecasts of tropical cyclone activity can benefit society, business and government by reducing - through the available lead-time - the risk, uncertainty and financial volatility associated with varying active and inactive storm seasons. We review the extended-range prediction of seasonal tropical cyclone activity in the North Atlantic and Northwest Pacific. A number of groups and ventures now issue such forecasts. We compare the methodology and performance of these different models. In particular we examine how they performed in 2002 and, where possible, assess their independent hindcast skill over the period 1987-2001 at monthly leads out to 9 months. We consider the potential for (1) forecasting seasonal tropical cyclone landfalling activity and financial loss for the US, Caribbean Lesser Antilles and southeast Asia, (2) intraseasonal tropical cyclone forecasts. We provide the latest outlooks for tropical cyclone activity in 2003.
Saunders, M. A.
One of the keys to safe and successful naval operations in the tropics is a thorough understanding of tropical meteorology. The Tropical Cyclone Reference Guide is designed primarily as a ready reference for midlatitude forecasters required to provide tro...
R. A. Jeffries R. J. Miller
Landfalling tropical cyclones impact large coastal and inland areas causing direct damage due to winds, storm-surge flooding, tornadoes, and precipitation; as well as causing substantial indirect damage such as electrical outages and business interruption. The likely climate change impact of increased tropical cyclone intensity, combined with increases in exposure, bring the possibility of increased damage in the future. A considerable amount of research has focused on modeling economic damage due to tropical cyclones, and a series of indices have been developed to assess damages under climate change. We highlight a number of ways this research can be improved through a series of case study analyses. First, historical loss estimates are revisited to properly account for; time, impacted regions, the source of damage by type, and whether the damage was direct/indirect and insured/uninsured. Second, the drivers of loss from both the socio-economic and physical side are examined. A case is made to move beyond the use of maximum wind speed to more stable metrics and the use of other characteristics of the wind field such as direction, degree of gustiness, and duration is explored. A novel approach presented here is the potential to model losses directly as a function of climate variables such as sea surface temperature, greenhouse gases, and aerosols. This work is the first stage in the development of a tropical cyclone loss model to enable projections of losses under scenarios of both socio-economic change (such as population migration or altered policy) and physical change (such as shifts in tropical cyclone activity one from basin to another or within the same basin).
Done, J.; Czajkowski, J.
Although the upward transfer of enthalpy fluxes from the ocean surface to the atmosphere and the downward transfer of momentum from the atmosphere to ocean surface eventually controls the evolution and intensification of a Tropical Cyclone (TC) (Ooyama 1969; Anthes and Chang 1978; Tuleya and Kurihara 1978; Emanuel 1995), several TCs are known to sustain over land and some of them have even been found to intensify over land. Past studies have emphasized on the importance of land surface affecting storm development and have showed that anomalously wet conditions may sustain or strengthen the storm if the surface temperature is sufficiently high (Emanuel, 1995; Emanuel et al., 2004, 2008; Kellner et al., 2012; Tuleya, 1994). We explore the fundamental interactions between land surface and TC and aim to understand the mechanisms involved in the sustenance or strengthening of such hurricanes. This study uses the idealized framework of the operationally adopted Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting system (HWRF) with similar setting as that of Gopalakrishnan et al., 2011, 2012. The TC simulated over an all ocean domain was designated as the control experiment. To simulate landfall and to study the land surface effects on TCs, land was included in the western half of the domain using various land use and soil categories from the USGS table. The results from various experiments were compared and the storm's development, secondary circulation involved in the storm, the role friction plays in the cyclone processes etc were studied with special focus on the land surface effects on TC. The TC development in the experiments with land mass was not as intense as in the control and the time evolution of storms for major cases is given in Figure 1. Montgomery et al., 2010 have explained the importance of surface drag on primary and secondary circulations in TCs over ocean. Results from this study also indicate stronger inflow makes for stronger storm as in Gopalakrishnan et al., 2012 The storm over the desert soil dissipated very quickly owing to the absence of moisture fluxes and presence of weak convergence at the hurricane boundary layer. Over wetland and land areas with high soil moisture content, the storms decayed slowly and maintained its structure for an appreciable time. They also showed a slight strengthening due to relatively high soil moisture and moisture convergence in the in-flow region due to the increase in friction. From preliminary analysis, it appears that friction might have a dual role to play - while Cd reduces the speed in the tangential direction, it tends to increase the inflow and this balance we think, is very crucial over land and work is in process to completely analyze results. Figure 1: Time history of the intensification process in an idealized storm: Hovemoller diagrams for axisymmetric mean tangential winds at a height of 10 m for runs with (left) only ocean, (center) desert soil, and (right) herbaceous wetlands.
Subramanian, S.; Gopalakrishnan, S. G.; Niyogi, D.; Marks, F., Jr.
You might expect to see a storm with near-perfect symmetry and a well-defined eye hovering over the warm waters of the Caribbean or in the South Pacific, but Tropical Cyclone Gonu showed up in an unusual place. On June 4, 2007, when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Aqua satellite captured this image, Tropical Cyclone Gonu was approaching the northeastern shore of Oman, a region better known for hot desert conditions. Though rare, cyclones like Gonu are not unheard of in the northern Indian Ocean basin. Most cyclones that form in the region form over the Bay of Bengal, east of India. Those that take shape over the Arabian Sea, west of the Indian peninsula, tend to be small and fizzle out before coming ashore. Cyclone Gonu is a rare exception. As of June 4, 2007, the powerful storm had reached a dangerous Category Four status, and it was forecast to graze Oman's northeastern shore, following the Gulf of Oman. According to storm statistics maintained on Unisys Weather, the last storm of this size to form over the Arabian Sea was Cyclone 01A, which tracked northwest along the coast of India between May 21 and May 28, 2001. Unlike Gonu's forecasted track, Cyclone 01A never came ashore. MODIS acquired this photo-like image at 12:00 p.m. local time (9:00 UTC), a few hours after the Joint Typhoon Warning Center estimated Gonu's sustained winds to be over 240 kilometers per hour (145 miles per hour). The satellite image confirms that Gonu was a super-powerful cyclone. The storm has the hallmark tightly wound arms that spiral around a well-defined, circular eye. The eye is surrounded by a clear wall of towering clouds that cast shadows on the surrounding clouds. Called hot towers, these clouds are a sign of the powerful uplift that feeds the storm. The symmetrical spirals, clear eye, and towering clouds are all features regularly seen in satellite images of other particularly powerful cyclones, which are also known as typhoons or hurricanes when they form in other parts of the world. The high-resolution image provided above is at MODIS' full spatial resolution (level of detail) of 250 meters per pixel. The MODIS Rapid Response System provides this image at additional resolutions.
On March 14, 2007, storm-weary Madagascar braced for its fourth land-falling tropical cyclone in as many months. Cyclone Indlala was hovering off the island's northeast coast when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Aqua satellite captured this photo-like image at 1:40 p.m. local time (10:40 UTC). Just over a hundred kilometers offshore, the partially cloudy eye at the heart of the storm seems like a vast drain sucking in a disk of swirling clouds. According to reports from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center issued less than three hours after MODIS captured this image, Indlala had winds of 115 knots (132 miles per hour), with gusts up to 140 knots (161 mph). Wave heights were estimated to be 36 feet. At the time of the report, the storm was predicted to intensify through the subsequent 12-hour period, to turn slightly southwest, and to strike eastern Madagascar as a Category 4 storm with sustained winds up to 125 knots (144 mph), and gusts up to 150 knots (173 mph). According to Reuters AlertNet news service, Madagascar's emergency response resources were taxed to their limit in early March 2007 as a result of extensive flooding in the North, drought and food shortages in the South, and three previous hits from cyclones in the preceding few months: Bondo in December 2006, Clovis in January 2007, and Gamede in February.
Contents: Central North Pacific Tropical Cyclone Data, 1990; Tropical Storm AKA; Tropical Storm AKA - 24 Hour Forecast Verification; Tropical Storm AKA - 36 Hour Forecast Verification; Tropical Storm AKA - 48 Hour Forecast Verification; Tropical Storm AKA...
A. K. T. Chun R. T. Martin H. E. Rosendal
This detailed description of Hurricane Isabel, a long-lived Cape Verde hurricane that reached Category 5 status on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale, contains a synoptic history, meteorological statistics, casualty and damage statistics, and a forecast and warning critique. The storm made landfall near Drum Inlet on the Outer Banks of North Carolina as a category 2 hurricane and is considered to be one of the most significant tropical cyclones to affect portions of northeastern North Carolina and east-central Virginia since Hurricane Hazel in 1954 and the Chesapeake-Potomac Hurricane of 1933. Voluminous charts include best track, selected ship reports, selected surface observations, and rainfall. A warnings chart is also included along with a best track map.
Virtually all assessments of tropical cyclone risk are based on historical records, which are limited to a few hundred years at most. Yet stronger TCs may occur in the future and at places that have not been affected historically. Such events lie outside the realm of historically based expectations and may have extreme impacts. Their occurrences are also often made explainable after the fact (e.g., Hurricane Katrina). We nickname such potential future TCs, characterized by rarity, extreme impact, and retrospective predictability, "black swans" (Nassim Nicholas Taleb, 2007). As, by definition, black swan TCs have yet to happen, statistical methods that solely rely on historical track data cannot predict their occurrence. Global climate models lack the capability to predict intense storms, even with a resolution as high as 14 km (Emanuel et al. 2010). Also, most dynamic downscaling methods (e.g., Bender et al. 2010) are still limited in horizontal resolution and are too expensive to implement to generate enough events to include rare ones. In this study, we apply a simpler statistical/deterministic hurricane model (Emanuel et al. 2006) to simulate large numbers of synthetic storms under a given (observed or projected) climate condition. The method has been shown to generate realistic extremes in various basins (Emanuel et al. 2008 and 2010). We also apply a hydrodynamic model (ADCIRC; Luettich et al. 1992) to simulate the storm surges generated by these storms. We then search for black swan TCs, in terms of the joint wind and surge damage potential, in the generated large databases. Heavy rainfall is another important TC hazard and will be considered in a future study. We focus on three areas: Tampa Bay in the U.S., the Persian Gulf, and Darwin in Australia. Tampa Bay is highly vulnerable to storm surge as it is surrounded by shallow water and low-lying lands, much of which may be inundated by a storm tide of 6 m. High surges are generated by storms with a broad spectrum of characteristics in our synthetic database, although no large surge has been recorded historically as only one moderate storm passed by the area. Tampa black swans are identified as those that move northward parallel to the west Florida coast with high intensities and resonant with the Florida-shelf edge waves to generate extreme surges up to 10 m in Tampa Bay. The Arabian Sea area has sea surface temperatures warm enough to support the development of severe TCs, but TC development has been limited by low humidity and high wind shear, and only one recorded TC (super cyclonic storm Gonu in 2007) moved close to the Persian Gulf, making landfall in Oman and Iran. Our analysis shows that black swan TCs can originate within the Persian Gulf and make landfall with high intensities in populous places; extreme surges over 9 m for Abu Dubai and Doha and over 7 m for Dubai are possible. Darwin experienced immense devastation from Cyclone Tracy of 1974, but the damage was mainly due to the strong winds (the surge was only about 1.6 m). Our analysis includes extremely intense black swan TCs that make landfall just south of Darwin, generating surges above 10 m; these results may prompt the city to reconsider its TC risk. We are currently analyzing the join probability of the extreme wind and surge of these black swan TCs to more clearly assess their full damage potentials.
Emanuel, K.; Lin, N.
The ultimate goal of this project is to demonstrate that in the presence of tropical cyclones (TCs), a multi-scale approach for data assimilation can significantly enhance the analyses and the ensuing forecasts. Our multiscale approach is based on couplin...
Prediction of future tropical cyclone climate scenarios requires identification of quasi-periodicities at a variety of temporal scales. Extension of records to identify trends at century and millennial scales is important, but to date the emerging field of paleotempestology has been hindered by the lack of a suitable methodology to discern the intensity of prehistoric storms. Here a technique to quantify the central pressure of prehistoric tropical cyclones is presented in detail and demonstrated for the tropical southwest Pacific region. The importance of extending records to century time scales is highlighted for northeast Australia, where a virtual absence of category 5 cyclones during the 20th century stands in contrast to an active period of severe cyclogenesis during the previous century. Several land crossing storms during the 19th century achieved central pressures lower than that ever recorded historically and close to the theoretical thermodynamic limit of storms for the region. This technique can be applied to all tropical and subtropical regions globally and will assist in obtaining more realistic predictions for future storm scenarios with implications for insurance premiums, urban and infrastructural design, and emergency planning.
Nott, Jonathan F.
... Research Links: + NASA's Sea Surface Temperature site + NASA Satellite Hurricane Data Website for Scientists + NASA African Monsoon ... NOAA Hurricane Research Division + Hurricane Storm Names + NOAA Satellite Service Division (SSD) + NOAA Tropical Analysis and Forecast ...
This site contains figures and tables that describe the progress of a typical hurricane season in terms of the total number of tropical systems and hurricanes produced throughout the year in the Atlantic and East Pacific basins. The figures have curves which represent the average cumulative production of all named tropical systems, all hurricanes, and those hurricanes which were Category 3 or stronger in those basins. The tables list benchmark dates when a given number of tropical systems, hurricanes, or category 3 storms should have been generated. In the progress of the average Atlantic or East Pacific season based on 1944-1996 data, they show the date upon which the number of events would normally have occurred.
The mechanisms associated with tropical cyclone recurvature are investigated using a five-level primitive equation model and an idealized environment with characteristics observed in cyclone recurvature conditions. All cyclones moved generally with the flow in the lower and middle troposphere, but the precise motion occurs by a combination of divergence and of advection in both the horizontal and the vertical. The horizontal advection arises from a combination of the initial environmental flow and local changes from rearrangement of the potential vorticity field by cyclone-environment interaction (the so-called, effect). The balance between these mechanisms changes as the vortex recurves. Since the gradients of potential vorticity increase sharply poleward of the subtropical ridge, this is the preferred region for development of an anticyclonic gyre. This gyre is advected eastward and becomes the dominant anticyclonic system. Recurvature is aided by horizontal deformation of the cyclone in the vicinity of this gyre, and by the manner in which the vertical tilt of the vortex and local divergence fields vary as it moves through a changing vertical wind shear of the environment. Recurvature is sensitive to the degree of diabatic heating and to small meridional changes in the initial vortex location.It is shown that recurvature can occur through an initially unbroken subtropical ridge, but that the presence of a midlatitude trough substantially enhances the potential for recurvature. However, while changes in the upper troposphere are indicative of recurvature potential, recurvature is accomplished largely by lower-tropospheric changes. An important component of this change is the development of a major anticyclone poleward and eastward of the cyclone. A recent observational study by Ford et al. concurs with this finding.
Holland, Greg J.; Wang, Yuqing
Microbaroms are continuous infrasonic signals with a dominant frequency around 0.2 Hz produced by ocean surface waves. Monitoring stations around the globe routinely detect strong microbaroms in the lee of tropical cyclones. We utilize a parametric wind model and a spectral wave model to construct the tropical cyclone wave field and a theoretical acoustic source model to describe the intensity, spatial distribution, and dynamics of microbarom sources. This approach excludes ambient wave conditions and facilitates a parametric analysis to elucidate the source mechanism within the storm. A stationary tropical cyclone produces the strongest microbarom signals at the center, where the waves generated by the cyclonic winds converge. As the tropical cyclone moves forward, the converging wave field becomes less coherent and lags and expands behind the storm center. The models predict a direct relation between the storm forward speed and the location of maximum microbarom source intensity consistent with the infrasonic observations from Hurricane Felicia 2009 in the North Central Pacific.
Stopa, Justin E.; Cheung, Kwok Fai; GarcéS, Milton A.; Fee, David
For the last 50 years, there have been two major thrusts in tropical cyclone research: determining the state of the atmosphere and ocean that is suitable for the formation of tropical storms (the genesis criteria) and short-term forecasting of the track and intensity of storms. Efforts to forecast seasonal storm activity, especially in the North Atlantic Ocean, have been undertaken through empirical means and, more recently, using low-resolution climate models. Climate model results have been exceptionally encouraging suggesting that the tropical cyclogenesis factors are predictable and are part of the large scale tropical circulation. During the last few years, a spate of papers has noted the relationship between changes in sea-surface temperature (SST) and tropical cyclone intensity and frequency. A critical issue is determining to what degree the frequency of hurricanes, as well as their intensity distribution, will change in a warming world. We discuss recent research regarding the interactions of the climate system with tropical cyclones, including the role of climate in determining the genesis of tropical cyclones and the role of tropical cyclones in the heat balance of the planet. Specifically: (i) We re-examine the genesis criteria of tropical cyclones and add two new criteria based on the behavior of waves in a flow varying in longitude and the inertial instability of equatorial flow in a cross-equatorial pressure gradient environment. Tropical cyclones are seen to form where the stretching deformation is negative and where large-scale waves transform into tight smaller and highly energetic scale vortices. We also discuss the tendency for storms to develop and intensify where the near-equatorial flow is inertially unstable. (ii) Tropical cyclones act to cool the tropical oceans by > 1K/year by evaporation of ocean surface water and by entrainment mixing with cooler water from below the mixed layer. We suggest that tropical cyclones are important part of the heat budget of the planet and act as efficient ventilators of the tropical ocean, transporting heat polewards in both the ocean and the atmosphere. We discuss the mechanisms by which hurricanes efficiently transport mass and heat upwards and then polewards and how the vertically mixed heat in the oceans joins the annual cycle of ocean heat transport. We speculate that the near constancy of the global annual number of tropical cyclones is evidence that the heat transport of storms is governed by an integral constraint applying to the heat balance of the planet. With this information, we can speculate on the characteristics of tropical cyclones in a warmer world.
Webster, P. J.
How can tropical cyclones survive? It is important for understanding the development of tropical cyclones to be able to quantify the exchange of enthalpy and momentum between air and water. Air-sea fluxes are often formulated as drag CD and enthalpy CK exchange coefficients. Emanuel, 1986, derived an expression for potential intensity that depends on local environment parameters and is proportional to the ratio of enthalpy and drag coefficients. This ratio should be larger than 0.75 for a cyclone to develop. There are no direct surface measurements of CK/ CD under hurricane conditions and extrapolation from most open-ocean measurements at 25 m/s gives values of CK/ CD< 0.75 and in that case no cyclone could survive and Emanuel's theory must be wrong. However there are measurements of CK taken over the Baltic Sea and Lake Ontario showing increasing values of CK up to 2.5 for wind speeds around 12 m/s. If this can be implemented for hurricane conditions the ratio CK/ CD>0.75 is in accordance with Emanuel's prediction. The high CK values are observed during situations when there is a regime shift of the structure of turbulence in the boundary layer. From spectral analysis it was found that as the boundary layer approaches neutral stratification, smaller-scale eddies become increasingly important in the turbulent transport of humidity and sensible heat and thus enhance the exchange coefficient CK. This turbulence regime is called the UVCN regime and require high wind speed, small temperature difference between air and water, sufficiently strong wind gradients and growing sea condition ( Smedman et al., 2007, Sahlee et al., 2008). What is the difference between world oceans and enclosed seas? The answer is the waves. The wave field over the open oceans is swell dominated but in enclosed seas and coastal areas swell is restricted mainly to low wind speed conditions, and swell is short lived because of short distances to the shores. When swell is present the MABL will be dominated by large eddies of zi size creating weak gradients of wind, temperature and humidity and thus small scale eddies cannot be formed leading to reduced CK-values. However, during hurricane condition the waves are expected to be young, stratification is close to neutral and gradients are sufficiently large to generate UVCN condition and thus increased CK values. References: K. A. Emanuel, 1986: An air-sea interaction theory for tropical cyclones, part I: Steady-state maintenance, J. Atmos. Sci., 43,585-604 E. Sahlee et al., 2008: Reevaluation of bulk exchange coefficient for humiditu at sea during unstable and neutral conditions, DOI:10.1175/2007JPO3754.1 A. Smedman, 2007: Heat/mass transfer in the slightly unstable atmospheric surface layer,Quart. J. Meteorol. Soc., 133, 37-51
The formation of tropical cyclones in the Atlantic most often occurs at the intersection of the wave trough axis of a westward propagating African easterly wave and the wave critical latitude. Viewed in a moving reference frame with the wave, a cat's eye region of cyclonic recirculation can be seen in streamlines prior to genesis. The cat's eye recirculation region has little strain deformation and its center serves as the focal point for aggregation of convectively generated vertical vorticity. Air inside the cat's eye is repeatedly moistened by convection and is protected from the lateral intrusion of dry air. Since the flow is inherently time-dependent, we contrast the time-dependent structures with Eulerian structures of the wave-relative frame. Time-dependence complicates the kinematic structure of the recirculation region as air masses from the outer environment are allowed to interact with the interior of the cat's eye. LCSs show different boundaries of the cat's eye than the streamlines in the wave-relative frame. These LCSs are particularly important for showing the pathways of air masses that interact with the developing vortex, as moist air promotes development by supporting deep convection, while interaction with dry air impedes development. We primarily use FTLEs to locate the LCSs, and show the role of LCSs in both developing and non-developing storms. In addition, we discuss how the vertical coherence of LCSs is important for resisting the effects of vertical wind shear.
Rutherford, B.; Montgomery, M. T.
In this paper we seek and obtain a basic understanding of tropical cyclone intensification in three dimensions when precipitation and evaporative- cooling (warm rain) processes are included. Intensification with warm rain physics included is found to be d...
J. Persing M. T. Montgomery N. Van Sang R. K. Smith
At this website, NOAA's Physical Oceanography Division illustrates its research dealing with the predictions of sudden tropical cyclone intensification through the monitoring of the upper ocean thermal structure. Students can learn about the utilization of a two-layer reduced gravity ocean model to determine the relationship between the dynamic height and the mass field of the ocean. Scientists can find out how, through the examination of seven tropical cyclone basins, the division found in an association between the tropical cyclone intensity and a raise in the value of tropical cyclone heat potentials (TCHP). After viewing the examples of the intensification for three hurricanes and one typhoon, users can find daily maps of the latest TCHP, sea surface temperatures, sea height anomalies, and more. Scientists looking for long term statistics can find weekly maps and data from October 1992 to the present.
Characteristics of the raindrop size distribution in seven tropical cyclones have been studied through impact-type disdrometer measurements at three different sites during the 2004-06 Atlantic hurricane seasons. One of the cyclones has been observed at two different sites. High concentrations of small and/or midsize drops were observed in the presence or absence of large drops. Even in the presence of large drops, the maximum drop diameter rarely exceeded 4 mm. These characteristics of raindrop size distribution were observed in all stages of tropical cyclones, unless the storm was in the extratropical stage where the tropical cyclone and a midlatitude frontal system had merged. The presence of relatively high concentrations of large drops in extratropical cyclones resembled the size distribution in continental thunderstorms. The integral rain parameters of drop concentration, liquid water content, and rain rate at fixed reflectivity were therefore lower in extratropical cyclones than in tropical cyclones. In tropical cyclones, at a disdrometercalculated reflectivity of 40 dBZ, the number concentration was 700 plus or minus 100 drops m(sup -3), while the liquid water content and rain rate were 0.90 plus or minus 0.05 g m(sup -3) and 18.5 plus or minus 0.5 mm h(sup -1), respectively. The mean mass diameter, on the other hand, was 1.67 plus or minus 0.3 mm. The comparison of raindrop size distributions between Atlantic tropical cyclones and storms that occurred in the central tropical Pacific island of Roi-Namur revealed that the number density is slightly shifted toward smaller drops, resulting in higher-integral rain parameters and lower mean mass and maximum drop diameters at the latter site. Considering parameterization of the raindrop size distribution in tropical cyclones, characteristics of the normalized gamma distribution parameters were examined with respect to reflectivity. The mean mass diameter increased rapidly with reflectivity, while the normalized intercept parameter had an increasing trend with reflectivity. The shape parameter, on the other hand, decreased in a reflectivity range from 10 to 20 dBZ and remained steady at higher reflectivities. Considering the repeatability of the characteristics of the raindrop size distribution, a second impact disdrometer that was located 5.3 km away from the primary site in Wallops Island, Virginia, had similar size spectra in selected tropical cyclones.
Tokay, Ali; Bashor, Paul G.; Habib, Emad; Kasparis, Takis
The large scale atmospheric vortices (tropical cyclones, tornadoes) are complex physical systems combining thermodynamics and fluid-mechanical processes. The late phase of the evolution towards stationarity consists of the vorticity concentration, a well known tendency to self-organization , an universal property of the two-dimensional fluids. It may then be expected that the stationary state of the tropical cyclone has the same nature as the vortices of many other systems in nature: ideal (Euler) fluids, superconductors, Bose-Einsetin condensate, cosmic strings, etc. Indeed it was found that there is a description of the atmospheric vortex in terms of a classical field theory. It is compatible with the more conventional treatment based on conservation laws, but the field theoretical model reveals properties that are almost inaccessible to the conventional formulation: it identifies the stationary states as being close to self-duality. This is of highest importance: the self-duality is known to be the origin of all coherent structures known in natural systems. Therefore the field theoretical (FT) formulation finds that the cuasi-coherent form of the atmospheric vortex (tropical cyclone) at stationarity is an expression of this particular property. In the present work we examine a strong property of the tropical cyclone, which arises in the FT formulation in a natural way: the equality of the masses of the particles associated to the matter field and respectively to the gauge field in the FT model is translated into the equality between the maximum radial extension of the tropical cyclone and the Rossby radius. For the cases where the FT model is a good approximation we calculate characteristic quantities of the tropical cyclone and find good comparison with observational data.
Spineanu, F.; Vlad, M.
This memorandum presents a technique for estimating precipitation from tropical cyclones using visible and infrared geostationary satellite data. The technique assigns rainfall rates to tropical cyclone cloud features, yields a rainfall potential of the c...
L. E. Spayd R. A. Scofield
Two of the most useful data sets for understanding Atlantic Basin tropical cyclones are the HURDAT data set, provided by NOAA, and the Extended Best Track (EBT) data set, provided by Colorado State University. Each has their strengths: the HURDAT is a more complete set of cyclone tracks, while the EBT contains additional radial extent, wind speed, and pressure information for a more limited set of cyclones. We report here on methods that we developed to generate realistic synthetic cyclone tracks using the strengths of each data set. We also report on some novel visualization methods (using HTML5) and cloud computing methods we employed in the research. We hope that this research will lead to more accurate predictions of the number and severity of cyclones for a given season.
Hardisty, F.; Carroll, D.
Preinstrumental records of historical tropical cyclone activity require objective methods for accurately categorizing tropical cyclone intensity. Here wind force terms and damage reports from newspaper accounts in the Lesser Antilles and Jamaica for the period 1795-1879 are compared with wind speed estimates calculated from barometric pressure data. A total of 95 separate barometric pressure readings and colocated simultaneous wind force descriptors and wind-induced damage reports are compared. The wind speed estimates from barometric pressure data are taken as the most reliable and serve as a standard to compare against other data. Wind-induced damage reports are used to produce an estimated wind speed range using a modified Fujita scale. Wind force terms are compared with the barometric pressure data to determine if a gale, as used in the contemporary newspapers, is consistent with the modern definition of a gale. Results indicate that the modern definition of a gale (the threshold point separating the classification of a tropical depression from a tropical storm) is equivalent to that in contemporary newspaper accounts. Barometric pressure values are consistent with both reported wind force terms and wind damage on land when the location, speed and direction of movement of the tropical cyclone are determined. Damage reports and derived wind force estimates are consistent with other published results. Biases in ships' logbooks are confirmed and wind force terms of gale strength or greater are identified. These results offer a bridge between the earlier noninstrumental records of tropical cyclones and modern records thereby offering a method of consistently classifying storms in the Caribbean region into tropical depressions, tropical storms, nonmajor and major hurricanes.
The influence of various environmental factors on tropical cyclone intensity is explored using a simple coupled ocean atmosphere model. It is first demonstrated that this model is capable of accurately replicating the intensity evolution of storms that move over oceans whose upper thermal structure is not far from monthly mean climatology and that are relatively unaffected by environmental wind shear.
Kerry Emanuel; Christopher Desautels; Christopher Holloway; Robert Korty
NASA's Cloud and Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP) is ideally suited to viewing the very top of tropical cyclones. CALIOP measures 532 nm backscattered light, at both parallel and perpendicular polarizations. The backscattered signal, with 60 m vertical resolution, provides an accurate measurement of tropical cyclone cloud top heights. Ice water content is parameterized from optical extinction coefficients. Extinction coefficients are retrieved as the 532 nm beam penetrates the cloud deck, until attenuation occurs at an effective optical depth of approximately three. Depolarization provides some insight about particle habit. CALIOP sensitivity to cloud ice water content in the uppermost layer is 0.1 mg/m3, a detection range that includes sub-visible cirrus. Most hurricane or tropical cyclone measurements are focused on the middle and lower regions of storms, but characterization of cyclone interaction with the lowermost stratosphere at the upper storm boundary may be important for determining the total momentum and moisture transport budget. A survey of 5 years of CALIOP observations of the uppermost layer of tropical cyclones is presented, including more detailed analysis of Hurricanes Bill, Karl, and Earl, and Typhoons Bud, Ileana and Choi-wan. For reference, CALIOP observations of cloud top height and ice water content are also compared with MODIS and CloudSat observations during these six tropical cyclones. A surprising amount of cloud ice is to be found between 16 - 19 km, at the very top of these big storms.
Avery, M. A.; Heymsfield, A.; Young, S.; Deng, M.; Holz, R. E.; Smith, W.; Vaughan, M.
The origin of tropical cyclones in the South China Sea is over a vast deep sea, southeast of the Philippines. The severe tropical cyclones in summer with northerly tracks attack the Philippines, China, Korea and Japan, while the moderate ones in the rainy season with northwesterly tracks pass Vietnam, Laos and northern Thailand. In October, November and December, the tropical
In this study, a slab boundary layer model with a constant depth is used to analyze the boundary-layer wind structure in a\\u000a landfalling tropical cyclone. Asymmetry is found in both the tangential and radial components of horizontal wind in the tropical\\u000a cyclone boundary layer at landfall. For a steady tropical cyclone on a straight coastline at landfall, the magnitude of
Xiaodong Tang; Zhemin Tan
The Tropical Cyclone Ship Avoidance Program (TCSAP), which is designed to replace the Pacific Fleet's tropical cyclone danger area avoidance instruction, is described. The Pacific Fleet danger area was tested on 1982 tropical cyclone forecasts, and summar...
J. D. Jarrell
Motivated by recent developments in tropical-cyclone dynamics, this paper reexamines a basic aspect of tropical-cyclone behaviour, namely, the sensitivity of tropical-cyclone models to the surface drag coefficient. Previous theoretical and numerical studi...
M. T. Montgomery R. K. Smith S. V. Nguyen
The strength of tropical cyclones (TCs) is traditionally determined using the sustained maximum wind speed. Because TCs develop and spend most of their lifetime over tropical oceans, it is rare to directly observe a storm well enough to determine its strength accurately. The Dvorak technique was developed in the 1970s and 1980s to address this problem. By determining a number of cloud and structural characteristics from satellite images, a forecaster could now arrive at a reasonable maximum sustained wind without direct observations. However, the Dvorak technique by nature is subjective and it has been shown that trained experts frequently disagree on storm intensities. Furthermore, the application of the rules and constraints of the process has diverged with time across different forecast centers. This has led in several cases to severe disagreements in storm intensities when two or more forecast centers track the same TC. The accumulation of these differences has caused heterogeneous trends in TC intensity to arise at decadal time scales. A global reanalysis of TC intensity is required to resolve these discrepancies, but such an undertaking is unrealistic. Cyclone Center, an Internet crowd sourcing site for TCs, was created to resolve differences in TC intensities and produce a consistent 32-year (1978-2009) record of it. By using a homogeneous satellite dataset (HURSAT) and adapting the Dvorak technique into a set of three or four simple questions, laypersons perform the actions of the expert. User responses are converted into 3-hourly storm intensities. To capitalize on the crowd sourcing approach, at least 10 different users are shown the same image; this allows critical data such as cloud pattern uncertainties and storm metadata (e.g. eye size, center location, cloud pattern) to be collected. Preliminary analyses show that our citizen scientists many times outperform computer classifications in pattern matching and exhibit low bias and mean error when compared to a 'ground truth' set of storms (sampled with aircraft reconnaissance data). However, the intensity data can be noisy; we believe that further refinements in the statistical processing of user responses and the calculation of intensities using cloud top temperature should mitigate this concern and lead to lower errors. Typhoon Ivan (1997) is one of several hundred tropical cyclones that citizen scientists are analyzing
Hennon, C. C.; Knapp, K. R.; Schreck, C. J.; Stevens, S. E.; Kossin, J. P.
The geometric size of a tropical cyclone (TC) is directly related to its destructive potential. However, widely used measures for TC activity and destructive potential, such as the accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) and power dissipation index (PDI), are based on maximum wind speed, without considering storm size. Our analysis of the Automated Tropical Cyclone Forecast (ATCF), Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JWTC), and National Hurricane Center (NHC) best track data shows that storm size is positively correlated with TC intensity and translation speed globally. The revised ACE and PDI (RACE and RPDI) take into account storm size but do not have a significant effect on annual trends for TC activity and destructive potential. In the Atlantic basin (AL), TC activity and destructiveness measures bear positive correlations with HadISST September sea surface temperature in both short and long term analysis. In the Western Pacific basin (WP), the annual trends of RACE and RPDI exhibit much stronger correlations with local August SST than ACE and PDI. Both results imply a potentially strong linkage between global warming and hurricane destructiveness.
Tang, N. W.; Su, H.
Increased occurrence of more intense tropical storms intruding further poleward has been foreshadowed as one of the potential consequences of global warming. This scenario is based almost entirely on the general circulation model predictions of warmer sea surface temperature (SST) with increasing levels of atmospheric CO[sub 2] and some theories of tropical cyclone intensification that support the notion of more intense systems with warmer SST. Whether storms are able to achieve this theoretically determined more intense state depends on whether the temperature of the underlying water is the dominant factor in tropical cyclone intensification. An examination of the historical data record in a number of ocean basins is used to identify the relative importance of SST in the tropical cyclone intensification process. The results reveal that SST alone is an inadequate predictor of tropical cyclone intensity. Other factors known to affect tropical cyclone frequency and intensity are discussed. 16 refs., 6 figs., 3 tabs.
Evans, J.L. (CSIRO Division of Atmospheric Research, Mordialloc, Victoria (Australia))
The characteristics of the ``eye'' and eyewall of a Tropical Cyclone (TC) are examined with a wind profiler and upper-soundings around a small island belonging to Japan. There are few observations of wind behavior in the eye of a TC with high time and height resolutions. In the eye of the TC, weak cyclonic wind and updraft formed like a cylinder centered on the TC. The updraft did not form clouds and precipitation because stable and relatively dry air existed in the middle troposphere. There were dry layers above the middle troposphere in the eye, especially in the lower layers on the front side of the TC. Therefore, the rainfall associated with the eyewall was strengthened and developed. This is the first time that the detailed wind behavior in the eye of the TC in the developing and mature stage has been observed.
Teshiba, Michihiro; Fujita, Hiroshi; Hashiguchi, Hiroyuki; Shibagaki, Yoshiaki; Yamanaka, Manabu D.; Fukao, Shoichiro
Intense tropical cyclones often possess relatively little convection around their cores. In radar composites, this surrounding region is usually echo-free or contains light stratiform precipitation. While subsidence is typically quite pronounced in this region, it is not the only mechanism suppressing convection. Another possible mechanism leading to weak-echo moats is presented in this paper. The basic idea is that the strain-dominated flow surrounding an intense vortex core creates an unfavorable environment for sustained deep, moist convection. Strain-dominated regions of a tropical cyclone can be distinguished from rotation-dominated regions by the sign of S21 + S22 - 2, where S1 = ux - y and S2 = x + uy are the rates of strain and = x - uy is the relative vorticity. Within the radius of maximum tangential wind, the flow tends to be rotation-dominated (2 > S21 + S22), so that coherent structures, such as mesovortices, can survive for long periods of time. Outside the radius of maximum tangential wind, the flow tends to be strain-dominated (S21 + S22 > 2), resulting in filaments of anomalous vorticity. In the regions of strain-dominated flow the filamentation time is defined as ?fil = 2(S21 + S22 - 2)-1/2. In a tropical cyclone, an approximately 30-km-wide annular region can exist just outside the radius of maximum tangential wind, where ?fil is less than 30 min and even as small as 5 min. This region is defined as the rapid filamentation zone. Since the time scale for deep moist convective overturning is approximately 30 min, deep convection can be significantly distorted and even suppressed in the rapid filamentation zone. A nondivergent barotropic model illustrates the effects of rapid filamentation zones in category 1 5 hurricanes and demonstrates the evolution of such zones during binary vortex interaction and mesovortex formation from a thin annular ring of enhanced vorticity.
Rozoff, Christopher M.; Schubert, Wayne H.; McNoldy, Brian D.; Kossin, James P.
The influence of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) on tropical cyclone intensity in the western North Pacific basin is examined. Accumulated cyclone energy (ACE), constructed from the best-track dataset for the region for the period 1950-2002, and other related variables are analyzed. ACE is positively correlated with ENSO indices. This and other statistics of the interannually varying tropical cyclone dis-
Suzana J. Camargo; Adam H. Sobel
Tropical Cyclone Boura approaches Madagascar on November 17, 2002. The storm has intensified over night. The rain structure is depicted with 5 different isosurfaces. The first isosurface is grey and depicts areas with 0.5 inches of rain per hour. The second is light blue and reflects 1.0 inches of rain per hour. THe third is green and shows 1.7 inches of rain per hour. The forth is yellow and represents 2.0 inches of rain per hour. The last isosurface is red and shows 2.2 inches or more of rain per hour.
Perkins, Lori; Halverson, Jeff
The Tropical Cyclone (TC) Precipitation (TCP) is partitioned from the station observations in China using the Objective Synoptic Analysis Technique (OSAT). The TCP spatial distribution, its ratio to total annual rainfall, the changes in the TCP volume, and the annual frequency of the torrential TCP events during the period 1957~2004 are examined with a focus on their long-term trends in this study. Tropical cyclones significantly contribute to the annual rainfall in southern, southeastern, and eastern China, including Taiwan and Hainan islands. The TCP in most of the southeastern coastal regions can be more than 500 mm a year, accounting for 20~40% of the total annual precipitation. Together with interdecadal and interannual variations, significant downward trends are found in the TCP volume, the annual frequency of torrential TCP events, and the contribution of TCP to the annual precipitation over the past 48 years. The downward trends were accompanied with the decreases in the numbers of TCs and typhoons that affected China during the period 1957-2004. These changes strongly suggest that China has experienced decreasing TC influence over the past 48 years, especially in terms of the TCP.
Ren, Fumin; Wu, Guoxiong; Dong, Wenjie; Wang, Xiaoling; Wang, Yongmei; Ai, Wanxiu; Li, Weijing
A model is proposed relating a variety of factors of tropical cyclones (TCs) to their tracks, and attentions are paid to the inuence of the asymmetric wind structures of TCs. Ideal numerical calculation shows that the asymmetric wind structures of TCs have conspicuous inuence on their motion tracks. When moving due westward initially, an axisymmetric TC will deect right, and
XIANG Jie; WU Rongsheng
Severe climatic events affect all species, but there is little quantitative knowledge of how sympatric species react to such\\u000a situations. We compared the reproductive seasonality of sea turtles that nest sympatrically with their vulnerability to tropical\\u000a cyclones (in this study, “tropical cyclone” refers to tropical storms and hurricanes), which are increasing in severity due\\u000a to changes in global climate. Storm
David A. Pike; John C. Stiner
Severe climatic events affect all species, but there is little quantitative knowledge of how sympatric species react to such situations. We compared the reproductive seasonality of sea turtles that nest sympatrically with their vulnerability to tropical cyclones (in this study, "tropical cyclone" refers to tropical storms and hurricanes), which are increasing in severity due to changes in global climate. Storm surges significantly decreased reproductive output by lowering the number of nests that hatched and the number of hatchlings that emerged from nests, but the severity of this effect varied by species. Leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) began nesting earliest and most offspring hatched before the tropical cyclone season arrived, resulting in little negative effect. Loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) nested intermediately, and only nests laid late in the season were inundated with seawater during storm surges. Green turtles (Chelonia mydas) nested last, and their entire nesting season occurred during the tropical cyclone season; this resulted in a majority (79%) of green turtle nests incubating in September, when tropical cyclones are most likely to occur. Since this timing overlaps considerably with the tropical cyclone season, the developing eggs and nests are extremely vulnerable to storm surges. Increases in the severity of tropical cyclones may cause green turtle nesting success to worsen in the future. However, published literature suggests that loggerhead turtles are nesting earlier in the season and shortening their nesting seasons in response to increasing sea surface temperatures caused by global climate change. This may cause loggerhead reproductive success to improve in the future because more nests will hatch before the onset of tropical cyclones. Our data clearly indicate that sympatric species using the same resources are affected differently by tropical cyclones due to slight variations in the seasonal timing of nesting, a key life history process. PMID:17479295
Pike, David A; Stiner, John C
Heavy rainfall from tropical cyclones (TC) can be destructive. Past studies have examined variations in global TC rainfall. Given the complexity of tropical cyclones, further studies of TC precipitation are needed at the sub-basin scale. The Caribbean is vulnerable to the tropical cyclones and the related extreme precipitation. This study will evaluate inter-annual, seasonal and monthly variations in tropical cyclone precipitation in the Caribbean, detect trends and develop a TC precipitation climatology. Precipitation data from Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) 3B42 will be used to evaluate the spatial and temporal variations in TC precipitation. Then a comparative analysis between the rainfall from gauges and satellites will be performed. TC information derived from the National Hurricane Center will also be used to identify the influence of TC intensity and frequency on TC precipitation. The high spatial and temporal resolution used in this research will help to assess TC precipitation at a more local scale.
The future impacts of climate change on landfalling tropical cyclones are unclear. Regardless of this uncertainty, flooding by tropical cyclones will increase as a result of accelerated sea-level rise. Under similar rates of rapid sea-level rise during the early Holocene epoch most low-lying sedimentary coastlines were generally much less resilient to storm impacts. Society must learn to live with a rapidly evolving shoreline that is increasingly prone to flooding from tropical cyclones. These impacts can be mitigated partly with adaptive strategies, which include careful stewardship of sediments and reductions in human-induced land subsidence. PMID:24305147
Woodruff, Jonathan D; Irish, Jennifer L; Camargo, Suzana J
Tropical Cyclone Crystal approaches the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean. The storm packed sustained winds of 80 miles per hour with gusts up to 96 miles per hour. Mauritius is situated east of Madagascar off of the Africas southeastern coast. This animation shows the storms rain structure with 5 different isosurfaces. The first isosurface is grey and depicts areas with 0.5 inches of rain per hour. The second is light blue and reflects 1.0 inches of rain per hour. The third is green and shows 1.7 inches of rain per hour. The forth is yellow and represents 2.0 inches of rain per hour. The last isosurface is red and shows 2.2 inches or more of rain.
Perkins, Lori; Halverson, Jeff
In this paper, an objective technique for estimating the tropical cyclone (TC) precipitation from station observations is proposed. Based on a comparison between the Original Objective Method (OOM) and the Expert Subjective Method (ESM), the Objective Synoptic Analysis Technique (OSAT) for partitioning TC precipitation was developed by analyzing the western North Pacific (WNP) TC historical track and the daily precipitation datasets. Being an objective way of the ESM, OSAT overcomes the main problems in OOM, by changing two fixed parameters in OOM, the thresholds for the distance of the absolute TC precipitation (D 0) and the TC size (D 1), into variable parameters. Case verification for OSAT was also carried out by applying CMORPH (Climate Prediction Center MORPHing technique) daily precipitation measurements, which is NOAA’s combined satellite precipitation measurement system. This indicates that OSAT is capable of distinguishing simultaneous TC precipitation rain-belts from those associated with different TCs or with middle-latitude weather systems.
Ren, Fumin; Wang, Yongmei; Wang, Xiaoling; Li, Weijing
Summary The probabilistic approach to tropical cyclogenesis is advanced here by examining the role of convection in the early stages. The development of “hot towers”, that is tall cumulonimbus towers which reach or penetrate the tropopause, and their role in tropical cyclogenesis is investigated in two well-documented cases of formation. namely hurricane Daisy (1958) in the Atlantic and Tropical Cyclone
J. Simpson; J. B. Halverson; B. S. Ferrier; W. A. Petersen; R. H. Simpson; R. Blakeslee; S. L. Durden
The structure and intensity changes of tropical cyclones (TCs) in environmental vertical wind shear (VWS) are investigated in this study using the fifth-generation Pennsylvania State University National Center for Atmospheric Research (PSU NCAR) Mesoscale Model (MM5). Triply nested domains of 36-, 12-, and 4-km resolution are used with fully explicit moisture physics in the 4-km domain. Idealized environments with easterly shears of 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 m s-1 between 800 and 200 hPa are applied on an f plane. Under small values of VWS (2 and 4 m s-1), the TC intensities are similar to that of the control (CTRL; i.e., no VWS) after initial adjustments. The TCs under 6 and 8 m s-1 of VWS are not as intense, although they do not weaken during the simulation. On the other hand, the TC in 10 m s-1 of VWS weakened significantly.Given the same VWS, the TC intensity is also found to be sensitive to TC size. Experiments with TCs with a smaller radius of 15 m s-1 wind reveal that while the TC in 2 m s-1 of VWS remains as intense as the CTRL, the TC in the 4 m s-1 VWS case weakened significantly to a minimal hurricane by the end of the simulation. A VWS of 6 m s-1 is strong enough to cause dissipation of the TC in 72 h. These results indicate that the size of a TC has to be taken into account in determining the intensity change of a TC in VWS.In the 10 m s-1 VWS case, the average temperature over the lower half of the troposphere within 50 km from the TC surface center is higher than that of the CTRL throughout the simulation. Such a warming, though of a small magnitude, is also observed for a brief period in the upper half of the troposphere before the rapid weakening of the TC and is related to the asymmetry of temperature required for a tilt of the vortex axis. The evolution of the vortex tilt is found to be similar to the dry simulations in previous studies, with the midlevel center (? = 0.525) located mainly in the southeast quadrant of the surface center. A tendency for the midlevel center to rotate about the surface center is also observed. These results support the idea that the resistance to vertical tilt by the mutual rotation between the low-level and midlevel centers is also valid in the moist simulations.It is hypothesized that the secondary circulation and the associated diabatic heating reduce the vertical tilt and the weakening. Condensation heating offsets the anomalous cooling effect due to the anomalous rising motion ahead of the vortex tilt. For small VWS, the vertical motion asymmetry is not strong enough to destroy the complete secondary circulation and the eyewall. As a result, a large temperature asymmetry and the associated vortex tilt cannot develop. Furthermore, there is no entrainment of cool/dry air in the upper troposphere. Therefore, TCs under small shears can be as intense as the CTRL.Large-scale asymmetries in the form of anticyclones found in previous studies are also observed. These asymmetries are apparently related to the change of shears near the TCs. While the shears at outer radii stay roughly constant with time, the shears near the TC centers can have large temporal fluctuations both in magnitude and orientation. This result suggests that the location at which the VWS is estimated in observational studies could be important in determining the relationship between VWS and TC intensity change.
Wong, Martin L. M.; Chan, Johnny C. L.
This report discusses new tropical cyclone research being conducted which m ay be used as background information by tropical cyclone forecasters. Observational findings and speculations address: (1) various climatological characteristics of tropical cyclo...
W. M. Gray
Weather and climate hazards have significant impacts on Pacific Island Countries. Costs of hazards such as tropical cyclones can be astronomical making enormous negative economic impacts on developing countries. We highlight examples of extreme weather events which have occurred in Fiji and Samoa in the last few decades and have caused major economic and social disruption in the countries. Destructive winds and torrential rain associated with tropical cyclones can bring the most damaging weather conditions to the region causing economic and social hardship, affecting agricultural productivity, infrastructure and economic development which can persist for many years after the initial impact. Analysing historical data, we describe the impacts of tropical cyclones Bebe and Kina on Fiji. Cyclone Bebe (October 1972) affected the whole Fiji especially the Yasawa Islands, Viti Levu and Kadavu where hurricane force winds have been recorded. Nineteen deaths were reported and damage costs caused by cyclone Bebe were estimated as exceeding F20 million (F 1972). Tropical cyclone Kina passed between Fiji's two main islands of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, and directly over Levuka on the night of 2 January 1993 with hurricane force winds causing extensive damage. Twenty three deaths have been reported making Kina one of the deadliest hurricanes in Fiji's recent history. Severe flooding on Viti Levu, combined with high tide and heavy seas led to destruction of the Sigatoka and Ba bridges, as well as almost complete loss of crops in Sigatoka and Navua deltas. Overall, damage caused by cyclone Kina was estimated as F170 million. In Samoa, we describe devastation to the country caused by tropical cyclones Ofa (February 1990) and Val (December 1991) which were considered to be the worst cyclones to affect the Samoan islands since the 1889 Apia cyclone. In Samoa, seven people were killed due to cyclone Ofa, thousands of people were left homeless and entire villages were destroyed. Damage on Samoa totalled to US130 million. Cyclone Val caused damage and destruction to 95% of houses in Samoa and severe crop damage; total damage was estimated as US200 million. Recently, severe tropical cyclone Evan affected Samoa and Fiji (December 2012). Significant progress in operational tropical cyclone forecasting has been achieved over the past few decades which resulted in improving early warning system but death toll attributed to cyclones is still high - at least 14 deaths in Samoa are related to cyclone Evan (luckily, no death reports in Fiji). Cyclone-related economic losses also remain very high making significant negative impact on economies of the countries. Preliminary assessment of damage caused by cyclone Evan in Fiji indicates loses of about 75.29 million. By the end of this century projections suggest decreasing numbers of tropical cyclones but a possible shift towards more intense categories. In addition, geographic shifts in distribution of tropical cyclone occurrences caused by warming of the atmospheric and oceanic environment are possible. This should be taken in consideration by authorities of the Pacific Island Countries when developing adaptation strategies to increasing tropical cyclone risk due to climate change.
Kuleshov, Yuriy; Prakash, Bipendra; Atalifo, Terry; Waqaicelua, Alipate; Seuseu, Sunny; Ausetalia Titimaea, Mulipola
Composite analysis is used to examine environmental and climatology and persistence characteristics of tropical cyclones (TCs) undergoing different intensity changes in the western North Pacific (WPAC) and North Atlantic (ATL) ocean basins. Using the cumu...
B. Fu E. A. Hendricks M. S. Peng T. Li
The impacts of human activities on the global climate have been of great concern since last century. Scientific researches have indicated that global warming associated with the global climate change can affect tropical cyclone activities. A new approach ...
L. Wu B. Wang
Rainfall totals from the TRMM satellite of all tropical cyclones that passed through the Philippines from January through November 11, 2013. Red indicated areas where rainfall totals were greater t...
This animation of rainfall gathered from February 11-19, 2014 by NASA's TRMM satellite revealed that Tropical Cyclone Guito produced as much as 16.9 inches/430 mm of rainfall in the center of the M...
This information updates a popular statistical summary about hurricanes that have affected the United States this century. That study, which included a tabulation of the largest US losses of life caused by those storms, had no counterpart for earlier tropical cyclones or for casualties incurred elsewhere. In this presentation that work is extended, providing a catalog of Atlantic tropical cyclones associated with loss of life during the period 1492-1994. The catalog comprises two lists. The first list (Appendix 1) provides information about tropical cyclones responsible for at least 25 deaths. The second list (Appendix 2) identifies storms associated with loss of life that, while not quantified, may have reached at least 25, according to records about those events. In addition the site includes an introduction, tropical cyclone terminology, casualty information, conclusions, acknowledgements, and references.
Extra-tropical cyclones play a key role in the climate system in effectively transporting heat, water vapour and momentum towards higher latitudes. The main energy source of extra-tropical cyclones is the available potential energy of the atmosphere first recognized by Max Margules in the beginning of the last century but clarified much later in a series of papers by Edward Lorenz. With the assumption that the initial state is well determined present weather prediction models are able to predict the development of extra-tropical systems several days in advance and this is one of the reasons to the large improvement in weather forecasting in recent years. Whilst our knowledge of extra-tropical cyclones has continued to improve several questions requires a better scientific understanding. One of these is the mutual interaction between transient cyclones and the large-scale quasi-stationary pattern of the atmospheric circulation such as blocking. Another important issue is the possible change in extra-tropical cyclones in a warmer climate. This might come about through changes in the storm tracks or in changes in extreme cyclones. In my presentation I will present some recent results based on the assessment of storm tracks and the evolution of cyclones in high-resolution global models in the present and future climate using a Lagrangean approach.
Strong winds affect mixing and heat distribution in the upper ocean. In turn, upper-ocean heat content affects the evolution of tropical cyclones. Here the authors explore the global effects of the interplay between tropical cyclones and upper-ocean heat content. The modeling study suggests that, for given atmospheric thermodynamic conditions, regimes characterized by intense (with deep mixing and large upper-ocean heat
Claudia Pasquero; Kerry Emanuel
NASA's CALIPSO satellite carries both the Cloud and Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP) and the Imaging Infrared Radiometer (IIR). The lidar is ideally suited to viewing the very top of tropical cyclones, and the IIR provides critical optical and microphysical information. The lidar and the IIR data work together to understand storm clouds since they are perfectly co-located, and big tropical cyclones provide an excellent complex target for comparing the observations. There is a lot of information from these case studies for understanding both the observations and the tropical cyclones, and we are just beginning to scratch the surface of what can be learned. Many tropical cyclone cloud particle measurements are focused on the middle and lower regions of storms, but characterization of cyclone interaction with the lowermost stratosphere at the upper storm boundary may be important for determining the total momentum and moisture transport budget, and perhaps for predicting storm intensity as well. A surprising amount of cloud ice is to be found at the very top of these big storms.
Avery, Melody A.; Deng, Min; Garnier, Anne; Heymsfield, Andrew; Pelon, Jacques; Powell, Kathleen A.; Trepte, Charles R.; Vaughan, Mark A.; Winker, David M.; Young, Stuart
One to two day future tropical cyclone intensity change from both a composite and an individual case point-of-view are discussed. Tropical cyclones occurring in the Gulf of Mexico during the period 1957-1977 form the primary data source. Weather charts of the NW Atlantic were initially examined, but few differences were found between intensifying and non-intensifying cyclones. A rawinsonde composite analysis detected composite differences in the 200 mb height fields, the 850 mb temperature fields, the 200 mb zonal wind and the vertical shears of the zonal wind. The individual cyclones which make up the composite study were then separately examined using this composite case knowledge. Similar parameter differences were found in a majority of individual cases. A cyclone intensity change forecast scheme was tested against independent storm cases. Correct predictions of intensification or non-intensification could be made approximately 75% of the time.
Dropco, K. M.; Gray, W. M.
The tropical cyclone is a solitary creature of the tropical oceans accompanied by violent rotating winds and torrential rain. Observational studies and diagnostic analyses leave little doubt that the energy required for driving the vortex comes from the latent heat of condensation released by tall convective clouds around the center, and that the frictionally induced inflow in the vortex plays
study evaluates and compares tropical cyclones (TCs) in state-of-the-art reanalysis data sets including the following: the Japanese 55-year Reanalysis (JRA-55), Japanese 25-year Reanalysis, European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts Reanalysis-40, Interim Reanalysis, National Centers for Environmental Prediction Climate Forecast System Reanalysis, and NASA's Modern Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Application (MERRA). Most of the reanalyses reproduce a reasonable global spatial distribution of observed TCs and temporal interannual variation of total TC frequency. Of the six reanalysis data sets, JRA-55 appears to be the best in terms of the following: the highest skill for spatial and temporal distribution of TC frequency of occurrence, highest TC hitting rate, lower false alarm rate, reasonable TC structure in terms of the relationship between maximum surface wind speed and sea level pressure, and higher correlation coefficients for interannual variations of TC frequency. These results also suggest that the finest-resolution reanalysis data sets, like MERRA, are not always the best in terms of TC climatology.
The human experience of climate change is not one of gradual changes in seasonal or yearly changes in temperature or rainfall. Despite that most paleoclimatic reconstructions attempt to provide just such information. Humans experience climate change on much shorter time scales. We remember hurricanes, weeks of drought or overwhelming rainy periods. Tropical cyclones produce very low isotope ratios in both rainfall and in atmospheric water vapor. Thus, climate proxies that potentially record these low isotope ratios offer the most concrete record of climate change to which humans can relate. The oxygen isotopic composition of tropical cyclone rainfall has the potential to be recorded in fresh water carbonate fossil material, cave deposits and corals. The hydrogen isotopic composition of tropical cyclone rainfall has the potential to be recorded in tree ring cellulose and organic matter in fresh water bodies. The Class of carbonate organisms known as Ostracoda form their carapaces very rapidly. Thus fresh water ephemeral ponds in the subtropics are ideal locations for isotopic studies because they commonly are totally dry when tropical cyclones make landfall. The other proxies suffer primarily from a dilution effect. The water from tropical cyclones is mixed with pre-existing water. In cave deposits tropical cyclone rains mix with soil and ground waters. In the near shore coral environment the rain mixes with seawater. For tree rings there are three sources of water: soil water, atmospheric water vapor that exchanges with leaf water and tropical cyclone rain. In lakes because of their large size rainfall runoff mixes with ground water and preexisting water in the lake. A region that shows considerable promise is Texas / Northeast Mexico. In a study of surface waters that developed from the passage of Tropical Storm Allison (2001) in SE Texas both the pond water and Ostracoda that bloomed recorded the low oxygen isotope signal of that storm (Lawrence et al, 2008). In 2010 rain from Hurricane Alex, Tropical Depression 2 and Tropical Storm Hermine flooded ephemeral ponds in south Texas. Isotopic analysis of water and fossil Ostracoda from ephemeral ponds in south Texas is planned. Cores (50 cm in length) were taken in one of these ponds where living Ostracoda were found and collected.
Lawrence, J. R.; Maddocks, R.
A planetary boundary layer (PBL) parameterization based on the generalized similarity theory (GST) was developed for tropical cyclone models. This parameterization, with only one layer, is necessary in modeling tropical cyclones for computational speed. T...
S. W. Chang R. V. Madala
Up-to-date results of recent tropical cyclone research at Colorado State University are presented. Particular attention is paid to new findings which impact on tropical cyclone analysis and forecasting efforts. Observational studies using large amounts of...
W. M. Gray
Satellite remote sensing capabilities to monitor tropical cyclone (TC) location, structure, and intensity have evolved by utilizing a combination of operational and research and development (R&D) sensors. The microwave imagers from the operational Defense Meteorological Satellite Program [Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I) and the Special Sensor Microwave Imager Sounder (SSMIS)] form the "base" for structure observations due to their ability to view through upper-level clouds, modest size swaths and ability to capture most storm structure features. The NASA TRMM microwave imager and precipitation radar continue their 15+ yearlong missions in serving the TC warning and research communities. The cessation of NASA's QuikSCAT satellite after more than a decade of service is sorely missed, but India's OceanSat-2 scatterometer is now providing crucial ocean surface wind vectors in addition to the Navy's WindSat ocean surface wind vector retrievals. Another Advanced Scatterometer (ASCAT) onboard EUMETSAT's MetOp-2 satellite is slated for launch soon. Passive microwave imagery has received a much needed boost with the launch of the French/Indian Megha Tropiques imager in September 2011, basically greatly supplementing the very successful NASA TRMM pathfinder with a larger swath and more frequent temporal sampling. While initial data issues have delayed data utilization, current news indicates this data will be available in 2013. Future NASA Global Precipitation Mission (GPM) sensors starting in 2014 will provide enhanced capabilities. Also, the inclusion of the new microwave sounder data from the NPP ATMS (Oct 2011) will assist in mapping TC convective structures. The National Polar orbiting Partnership (NPP) program's VIIRS sensor includes a day night band (DNB) with the capability to view TC cloud structure at night when sufficient lunar illumination exits. Examples highlighting this new capability will be discussed in concert with additional data fusion efforts.
Hawkins, J.; Richardson, K.; Surratt, M.; Yang, S.; Lee, T. F.; Sampson, C. R.; Solbrig, J.; Kuciauskas, A. P.; Miller, S. D.; Kent, J.
Tropical Cyclone Kesiny can be seen over the Indian Ocean in this true color image taken on May 6, 2002, at 6:45 UTC by the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), flying aboard NASA's Terra spacecraft. When this image was taken, the cyclone was several hundred miles east of northern Madagascar and packing winds of up to 120 kilometers (75 miles) per hour. As the cyclone continues its approach southwest into Madagascar, it is forecast to increase in intensity and generate sustained winds of up to 139 kilometers (86 miles) per hour. Credit: Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC
Tropical cyclones have massive economic, social, and ecological impacts, and models of their occurrence influence many planning activities from setting insurance premiums to conservation planning. Most impact models allow for geographically varying cyclone rates but assume that individual storm events occur randomly with constant rate in time. This study analyzes the statistical properties of Atlantic tropical cyclones and shows that local cyclone counts vary in time, with periods of elevated activity followed by relative quiescence. Such temporal clustering is particularly strong in the Caribbean Sea, along the coasts of Belize, Honduras, Costa Rica, Jamaica, the southwest of Haiti, and in the main hurricane development region in the North Atlantic between Africa and the Caribbean. Failing to recognize this natural nonstationarity in cyclone rates can give inaccurate impact predictions. We demonstrate this by exploring cyclone impacts on coral reefs. For a given cyclone rate, we find that clustered events have a less detrimental impact than independent random events. Predictions using a standard random hurricane model were overly pessimistic, predicting reef degradation more than a decade earlier than that expected under clustered disturbance. The presence of clustering allows coral reefs more time to recover to healthier states, but the impacts of clustering will vary from one ecosystem to another.
Mumby, Peter J.; Vitolo, Renato; Stephenson, David B.
Tropical cyclones have massive economic, social, and ecological impacts, and models of their occurrence influence many planning activities from setting insurance premiums to conservation planning. Most impact models allow for geographically varying cyclone rates but assume that individual storm events occur randomly with constant rate in time. This study analyzes the statistical properties of Atlantic tropical cyclones and shows that local cyclone counts vary in time, with periods of elevated activity followed by relative quiescence. Such temporal clustering is particularly strong in the Caribbean Sea, along the coasts of Belize, Honduras, Costa Rica, Jamaica, the southwest of Haiti, and in the main hurricane development region in the North Atlantic between Africa and the Caribbean. Failing to recognize this natural nonstationarity in cyclone rates can give inaccurate impact predictions. We demonstrate this by exploring cyclone impacts on coral reefs. For a given cyclone rate, we find that clustered events have a less detrimental impact than independent random events. Predictions using a standard random hurricane model were overly pessimistic, predicting reef degradation more than a decade earlier than that expected under clustered disturbance. The presence of clustering allows coral reefs more time to recover to healthier states, but the impacts of clustering will vary from one ecosystem to another. PMID:22006300
Mumby, Peter J; Vitolo, Renato; Stephenson, David B
Mesoscale model simulations of tropical cyclones are sensitive to representations of microphysical processes, such as fall velocities of frozen hydrometeors. The majority of microphysical parameterizations are based on observations obtained in clouds not associated with tropical cyclones, and hence their suitability for use in simulations of tropical cyclones is not known. Here, representations of mass-weighted fall speed Vm for snow
Greg M. McFarquhar; Robert A. Black
The tropical cyclone rainfall climatology study that was performed for the North Pacific was extended to the North Atlantic. Similar to the North Pacific tropical cyclone study, mean monthly rainfall within 444 km of the center of the North Atlantic tropical cyclones (i.e., that reached storm stage and greater) was estimated from passive microwave satellite observations during, an eleven year period. These satellite-observed rainfall estimates were used to assess the impact of tropical cyclone rainfall in altering the geographical, seasonal, and inter-annual distribution of the North Atlantic total rainfall during, June-November when tropical cyclones were most abundant. The main results from this study indicate: 1) that tropical cyclones contribute, respectively, 4%, 3%, and 4% to the western, eastern, and entire North Atlantic; 2) similar to that observed in the North Pacific, the maximum in North Atlantic tropical cyclone rainfall is approximately 5 - 10 deg poleward (depending on longitude) of the maximum non-tropical cyclone rainfall; 3) tropical cyclones contribute regionally a maximum of 30% of the total rainfall 'northeast of Puerto Rico, within a region near 15 deg N 55 deg W, and off the west coast of Africa; 4) there is no lag between the months with maximum tropical cyclone rainfall and non-tropical cyclone rainfall in the western North Atlantic, while in the eastern North Atlantic, maximum tropical cyclone rainfall precedes maximum non-tropical cyclone rainfall; 5) like the North Pacific, North Atlantic tropical cyclones Of hurricane intensity generate the greatest amount of rainfall in the higher latitudes; and 6) warm ENSO events inhibit tropical cyclone rainfall.
Rodgers, Edward B.; Adler, Robert F.; Pierce, Harold F.; Einaudi, Franco (Technical Monitor)
Tropical cyclones are one of the most impressive atmospheric phenomena and their development in the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific basins has potential to affect several Latin-American and Caribbean countries, where human resources are limited. As part of an international research project, we are offering short courses based on the current understanding of tropical cyclones in the Eastern Pacific basin. Our main goal is to train students from higher-education institutions from various countries in Latin America. Key aspects are tropical cyclone formation and evolution, with particular emphasis on their development off the west coast of Mexico. Our approach includes lectures on tropical cyclone climatology and formation, dynamic and thermodynamic models, air-sea interaction and oceanic response, ocean waves and coastal impacts as well as variability and climate-related predictions. In particular, we use a best-track dataset issued by the United States National Hurricane Center and satellite observations to analyze convective patterns for the period 1970-2006. Case studies that resulted in landfall over northwestern Mexico are analyzed in more detail; this includes systems that developed during the 2006, 2007 and 2008 seasons. Additionally, we have organized a human-dimensions symposium to discuss socio-economic issues that are associated with the landfall of tropical cyclones. This includes coastal zone impact and flooding, the link between cyclones and water resources, the flow of weather and climate information from scientists to policy- makers, the role of emergency managers and decision makers, impact over health issues and the viewpoint of the insurance industry.
Farfán, L. M.; Raga, G. B.
Overflights of a tropical cyclone during the Australian winter monsoon field experiment of the Stratosphere-Troposphere Exchange Project (STEP) show the presence of two mesoscale phenomena: a vertically propagating gravity wave with a horizontal wavelength of about 110 km and a feature with a horizontal scale comparable to that of the cyclone's entire cloud shield (wavelength of 250 km or greater).
L. Pfister; K. R. Chan; P. P. Bui; S. Bowen; M. Legg; B. Gary; K. Kelly; M. Proffitt; W. Starr
This collection of basic definitions and answers to questions about hurricanes and tropical cyclones includes how they form, how they are named, how intensities are measured, and how storms are forecast. Historical information, information on myths surrounding these storms, links to sites displaying real-time storm information, and safety tips are also included.
This study provides the first long-term tropical cyclone record from the Indian Ocean region. Multiple shore parallel ridges composed entirely of one species of marine cockle shell ( Fragum eragatum) standing between 3 and 6 m above mean sea level occur at Hamelin Pool, Shark Bay, Western Australia. The ridges record a tropical cyclone history between approximately 500 cal BP and 6000-7000 cal BP. Numerical storm surge and shallow water wave modelling techniques have been applied to determine the intensity (central pressure with uncertainty margins) of the storms responsible for deposition of the ridges, which has occurred approximately every 190-270 years. The ridges also record a 1700 year gap in tropical cyclone activity, between approximately 5400 cal BP and 3700 cal BP, where ridges deposited prior to this time were buried by a substantial deposit of aeolian fine-grained terrestrial sediment. The presence of this sedimentary unit suggests that this 1700 year period was characterised by a very dry climate; possibly the driest phase experienced in this region since the mid-Holocene. The absence of tropical cyclones at this time and the occurrence of this mega-drought may be linked.
A significant decline in diurnal temperature range (DTR) is identified along the Atlantic seaboard. Recent studies suggest that DTR changes demonstrate a human-created weekly cycle and may therefore be anthropogenic. In this study, we address whether there is a change in the diurnal variation in Tropical Cyclone (TC) wind speeds that is consistent with the DTR trend over land. Our
Randall S. Cerveny; Robert C. Balling Jr
The next generation geostationary satellite system starting with GOES-R will include a geostationary lightning mapper (GLM). The GLM will provide nearly continuous times and locations of total lightning with an accuracy of about 10 km over most of the field of view of GOES-east and -west. This coverage will include nearly all of the regions where tropical cyclones occur in
Mark DeMaria; Robert T. DeMaria
In recent years a large amount of literature has evolved on the usage of artificial neural network (ANNs) for weather forecasting, particularly because of ANNs' ability to model an unspecified nonlinear relationship of various meteorological variables. In this paper we proposed a dynamic competitive neural network classifier to predict the maximum potential intensity (MPI) of a given tropical cyclone, based
JAMES N. K. LIU; Bo Feng
Unprecedented views of surface wind fields in tropical cyclones (hereafter TCs) are provided by the European Remote Sensing Satellite (ERS) C band scatterometer. Scatterometer measurements at C band are able to penetrate convective storms clouds, observing the surface wind fields with good accuracy. However the resolution of the measurements (50×50km2) limits the interpretation of the scatterometer signals in such mesoscale
Y. Quilfen; B. Chapron; T. Elfouhaily; K. Katsaros; J. Tournadre
Some effect of tropical cyclone structure on the vortex motion are examined in a nondivergent, barotropic numerical model with no basic current. As suggested earlier by DeMaria, the initial maximum wind speed has little effect on the track. Vortex translation associated with the beta effect depends sensitively on the strength of the flow between 300 and 1000 km from the
Michael Fiorino; Russell L. Elsberry
The Direction of Meteo-France, the French National Weather Service, in La Reunion has been formally designated as the Regional Specialized Meteorological Centre (RSMC) for tropical cyclones monitoring over the South-West Indian Ocean by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). In order to better forecast tropical cyclone conditions, a limited area Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) model has been implemented with a dedicated bogusing scheme and more recently an associated new operational wave model has been implemented to forecast sea-states conditions. The new wave system is based on an improved third generation wave model and has been validated locally over several tropical cyclone seasons using significant wave height measurements derived from altimeters on board Jason-1, Jason-2 and ENVISAT. Data have been collected, checked and cross-corrected in order to provide a consistent and homogeneous altimeter data set suitable for wave model validation. The new system and the validation results are presented here, with a particular attention to extreme wave conditions. The impact of using other wind input to the wave model, such as produced by ECMWF for wind analyses or by IFREMER for Blended scatterometer products, is also investigated for a few tropical cyclone situations. A recent geophysical wind model function to derive wind speed above 20 m/s from radar altimeters is applied to analyse some wind forcing used in our study.
Lefevre, J. M.; Aouf, L.; Queffeulou, P.; Bentamy, A.; Quilfen, Y.
We have conducted a study of the relationship between tropical cyclone (TC) and extreme rain events using GPCP and TRMM rainfall data, and storm track data for July through November (JASON) in the North Atlantic (NAT) and the western North Pacific (WNP). Extreme rain events are defined in terms of percentile rainrate, and TC-rain by rainfall associated with a named
K.-M. Lau; Y. P. Zhou; H.-T. Wu
Ocean Drifters are cost effective, robust and high-quality instruments currently used to observe important variables in the ocean and atmosphere boundary layers during tropical cyclones. They have been configured to measure sea level atmospheric air pressure, wind velocity, solar insolation, sea surface and sub-surface temperature, ocean mixed-layer currents and three-dimensional ocean velocity (typically in depths of 0-150m). Ocean drifters have been successfully deployed in seven hurricanes (Atlantic Ocean) and in four typhoons (Pacific Ocean). Drifters are air-deployed about 18-24 hours ahead of an approaching tropical cyclone from a C-130J aircraft by the 53rd WRS "Hurricane Hunters" at a spacing of 30-50km in a line perpendicular to the expected storm track. On average, the tropical cyclone center has passed within 20km of the nearest drifter, and as close as 3km. Measurements are taken every 15 minutes and are transmitted via Argos or Iridium satellites in real-time and posted to the Global Telecommunication System of the World Weather Watch. The instrument success rate has been 92% in all previous deployments during tropical cyclone conditions from Cat-1 to Cat-5. The high quality of drifter observations has been validated with co-located measurements from dropwindsondes, nearby ocean profiling floats and satellites. Distinct features of the coupled tropical cyclone atmosphere-ocean system observed by the drifters include: the exponential decrease of sea level pressure towards the minimum at the storm center, the radius of maximum winds and their strength, the cold ocean wake on the right hand side of the storm, the inertial currents in the upper ocean, the downward propagation of inertial waves in the ocean, the relatively fast recovery of the sea surface temperature in the cold wake and the longer endurance of the sub-surface wake. In addition, the drifters have detected the response of the atmospheric boundary layer to the ocean's cold wake by measuring the distinct turning of surface winds towards the center of the tropical cyclone above the cold wake. Drifter data are a valuable asset for real-time storm assessment by warning centers, for initializing and constraining forecast models and for post-season validation/calibration of coupled models. The drifter deployment methodology will be reviewed and a summary of the observations obtained within some particularly significant tropical cyclones will be presented.
Morzel, J.; Centurioni, L. R.
Recent flooding events experienced by the UK and Western Europe have highlighted the potential disruption caused by precipitation associated with extra-tropical cyclones. The question as to the effect of a warming climate on these events also needs to be addressed to determine whether such events will become more frequent or more intense in the future. The changes in precipitation can be addressed through the use of Global Climate Models (GCMs), however the resolution of GCMs are often too coarse to drive hydrological models, required to investigate any flooding that may be associated with the precipitation. The changes to the precipitation associated with extra-tropical cyclones are investigated by tracking cyclones in two resolutions of the ECHAM5 GCM, T213 and T319 for 20th and 21st century climate simulations. It is shown that the intensity of extreme precipitation associated with extra-tropical cyclones is predicted to increase in a warmer climate at both resolutions. It was also found that the increase in resolution shows an increase in the number of extreme events for several fields, including precipitation; however it is also seen that the magnitude of the response is not uniform across the seasons. The tails of the distributions are investigated using Extreme Value Theory (EVT) using a Generalised Pareto Distribution (GPD) with a Peaks over Threshold (POT) method, calculating return periods for given return levels. From the cyclones identified in the T213 resolution of the GCM a small number of cyclones were selected that pass over the UK, travelling from the South-West to the North-East. These are cyclones that are more likely to have large amounts of moisture associated with them and therefore potentially being associated with large precipitation intensities. Four cyclones from each climate were then selected to drive a Limited Area Model (LAM), to gain a more realistic representation of the precipitation associated with each extra-tropical cyclone. The suitability of the LAM for downscaling was evaluated by running the LAM for the events of June and July 2007 (UK floods) and comparing the output to observations. The results from this comparison provide confidence that the model is able of reproducing realistic intensities for extreme precipitation events. Whilst this method does not allow for a robust comparison between the climates it does for allow for an analysis of the method, and whether dynamically downscaling individual events is suitable. It was found that by nesting the LAM within the GCM, large increases in the precipitation intensities were seen, as well as gaining a greater temporal resolution. Analysis of more events will allow a more robust comparison between climates.
Champion, A.; Hodges, K.; Bengtsson, L.
Recent severe tropical cyclones underscore the inherent importance of warm background ocean fronts and their interactions with the atmospheric boundary layer. Central to the question of heat and moisture fluxes from the ocean to the atmosphere, the amount of heat available to the tropical cyclone is predicated by the initial depth of the mixed layer and strength of the stratification level that set the level of entrainment mixing at the base of the oceanic mixed layer. For example in oceanic regimes where the ocean mixed layers are thin, shear-induced mixing tends to cool the upper ocean (and sea surface temperatures) quickly which reduces the air-sea fluxes. This is an example of negative feedback from the ocean to the atmosphere. By contrast, in regimes where the ocean mixed layers are deep (usually along the western part of the gyres), warm water advection by the nearly steady currents reduces the levels of turbulent mixing by shear instabilities. As these strong near-inertial shears are arrested, more heat and moisture is available through the sea surface. When tropical cyclones move into favorable or neutral atmospheric conditions (low vertical shear, anticyclonic circulation aloft), tropical cyclones have a tendency to rapidly intensify as observed over the Gulf of Mexico during Isidore and Lili in 2002, Katrina and Rita in 2005, Dean and Felix in 2007 in the Caribbean Sea, and Earl in 2010 just north of the Caribbean Islands. To predict these tropical cyclone deepening (as well as weakening) cycles, coupled models must have ocean models with realistic ocean conditions and accurate air-sea and vertical mixing parameterizations. These effects and possible impact on TC deepening and weakening underscores the necessity of having complete 3-D ocean measurements juxtaposed with atmospheric profiler measurements.
Recent severe tropical cyclones underscore the inherent importance of warm background ocean fronts and their interactions with the atmospheric boundary layer. Central to the question of heat and moisture fluxes, the amount of heat available to the tropical cyclone is predicated by the initial mixed layer depth and strength of the stratification that essentially set the level of entrainment mixing at the base of the mixed layer. In oceanic regimes where the ocean mixed layers are thin, shear-induced mixing tends to cool the upper ocean to form cold wakes which reduces the air-sea fluxes. This is an example of negative feedback. By contrast, in regimes where the ocean mixed layers are deep (usually along the western part of the gyres), warm water advection by the nearly steady currents reduces the levels of turbulent mixing by shear instabilities. As these strong near-inertial shears are arrested, more heat and moisture transfers are available through the enthalpy fluxes (typically 1 to 1.5 kW m-2) into the hurricane boundary layer. When tropical cyclones move into favorable or neutral atmospheric conditions, tropical cyclones have a tendency to rapidly intensify as observed over the Gulf of Mexico during Isidore and Lili in 2002, Katrina, Rita and Wilma in 2005, Dean and Felix in 2007 in the Caribbean Sea, and Earl in 2010 just north of the Caribbean Islands. To predict these tropical cyclone deepening (as well as weakening) cycles, coupled models must have ocean models with realistic ocean conditions and accurate air-sea and vertical mixing parameterizations. Thus, to constrain these models, having complete 3-D ocean profiles juxtaposed with atmospheric profiler measurements prior, during and subsequent to passage is an absolute necessity framed within regional scale satellite derived fields.
Shay, L. K.
The destruction wrought by North Atlantic hurricanes in 2004 and 2005 dramatically emphasizes the need for better understanding of tropical cyclone activity apart from the records provided by meteorological data and historical documentation. We present a 220-year record of oxygen isotope values of ?-cellulose in longleaf pine tree rings that preserves anomalously low isotope values in the latewood portion of the ring in years corresponding with known 19th and 20th century landfalling/near-coastal tropical storms and hurricanes. Our results suggest the potential for a tree-ring oxygen isotope proxy record of tropical cyclone occurrence extending back many centuries based on remnant pine wood from protected areas in the southeastern U.S.
Miller, Dana L.; Mora, Claudia I.; Grissino-Mayer, Henri D.; Mock, Cary J.; Uhle, Maria E.; Sharp, Zachary
Summary The surface low of a mature extra-tropical cyclone is often surmounted by a troposphere-spanning column of anomalously high\\u000a potential vorticity (PV). In this study the growth and decay of such a PV-tower is traced for one major North Atlantic frontal-wave\\u000a cyclone using the ECMWF analysis fields and adopting both Eulerian and Lagrangian frameworks.\\u000a \\u000a A tower’s structure and composition relates
A. M. Rossa; H. Wernli; H. C. Davies
We investigate the spatial dependence of and the large-scale atmospheric and climatic effects on the clustering of tropical cyclones in the North Atlantic Ocean. Tropical cyclone tracks from the HURDAT database are examined. We study the transit of tropical cyclones near points belonging to a grid covering the North Atlantic Ocean. Clustering is characterized by the dispersion (ratio of the variance and the mean) of the yearly counts of cyclone transits at distance less than a radius R from the gridpoints. Coherent patches of overdispersion are found for large radii (R>=300km) in the main development region, in the central North Atlantic, off the Mexican coast in the Gulf of Mexico and in the Caribbean sea. Transits of tropical cyclones with intense windspeeds (>60kt) are overdispersed in smaller regions. Patches of overdispersion occur in the central North Atlantic and in a region surrounding the souther coast of Florida, the western coast of Cuba and the coast of Belize. The influence of large-scale atmospheric and climatic processes is analysed by Poisson regression with a time-varying rate that depends on indices for the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and the Southern Oscillation (SO). A clear-cut signal is found at the largest spatial scales (R>=300km). The AMO has positive effects on the local transit rate in a very large region of the North Atlantic, around the main development region and Caribbean Sea. Positive effects are found for the NAO around Cuba and the Caribbean. Negative (though small) effects are found for the SOI in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico.
Vitolo, Renato; Stephenson, David; Cook, Ian
Please note: there have been minor updates to this work since the main author, Matt Bolton, graduated high school, but the majority of the research was compiled by him while he was a high school junior in 2011. Abstract: In recent years, there has been a growing trend by many, in the meteorological community (media and scientist) to predict expected seasonal tropical cyclone frequency in the Atlantic and Pacific Basins. Typically, the numbers are related to seasonal averages. However, these predictions often show a large positive bias (i.e., there are more years in which the expected number of storms exceeds or far exceeds average). Further, observed numbers often come close to bearing out the forecasts (actually a good thing). From a public perspective (and based on extrapolations performed by media and some scientific groups), this peaking of Atlantic tropical cyclone activity is observed globally. In an attempt to determine if such a global trend exists, we set out to collect data from weather agencies around the world and present it in a way that was as unbiased as possible. While there were inconsistencies across the various datasets, especially in regard to wind data, we were still able to construct a realistic global cyclone database. We have concluded that high activity levels in one basin are often balanced by areas of low activity in others. The Atlantic - Eastern Pacific couplet is one such example. This paper will serve as an update to our previous 2011 paper, which introduced our efforts. At that time, we found, on average, 70 named tropical cyclones worldwide. In both this and our original study, we did not address the issue of naming short-lived tropical systems, which was found to be inconsistent across worldwide ocean basins. Our results suggest, that from a global climate change perspective, a growing NUMBER of tropical cyclones is NOT being observed. In the current iteration of our study, we are examining, at least preliminarily, global Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) values. As these values are computed more widely in the coming months, we also hope to include a breakdown of worldwide tropical systems by category and duration.
Bolton, M.; Mogil, M.
This thesis describes an analytical study of vortex Rossby waves in tropical cyclones. Observational analyses of hurricanes in the tropical atmosphere indicate the existence of spiral rainbands which propagate outwards from the eye and affect the structure and intensity of the hurricane. These disturbances may be described as vortex Rossby waves. The aim of this research is to study the propagation of vortex Rossby waves in tropical cyclones and wave-mean-flow interactions near the critical radius where the mean flow angular velocity matches the phase speed of the waves. Depending on the wave magnitude, the problem can be linear or nonlinear. Analytical techniques including Laplace transforms, multiple scaling and asymptotic expansions are used to obtain approximate solutions of the governing linear and nonlinear equations. In this study we carry out asymptotic analyses to examine the evolution of the interactions near the critical radius in some two-dimensional configurations on an f-plane and a beta-plane. The results are used to explain some features of the tropical cyclone's development, namely, the change of angular wind in the critical layer, the secondary eyewall formation and the eyewall dynamics.
In this study, the sensitivity of numerical simulations of tropical cyclones to physics parameterizations is carried out with a view to determine the best set of physics options for prediction of cyclones originating in the north Indian Ocean. For this purpose, the tropical cyclone Jal has been simulated by the advanced (or state of science) mesoscale Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model on a desktop mini super computer CRAY CX1 with the available physics parameterizations. The model domain consists of one coarse and two nested domains. The resolution of the coarse domain is 90 km while the two nested domains have resolutions of 30 and 10 km, respectively. The results from the inner most domain have been considered for analyzing and comparing the results. Model simulation fields are compared with corresponding analysis or observation data. The track and intensity of simulated cyclone are compared with best track estimates provided by the Joint Typhoon Warning Centre (JTWC) data. Two sets of experiments are conducted to determine the best combination of physics schemes for track and intensity and it is seen that the best set of physics combination for track is not suitable for intensity prediction and the best combination for track prediction overpredicts the intensity of the cyclone. The sensitivity of the results to orography and level of nesting has also been studied. Simulations were also done for the cyclone Aila with (i) best set of physics and (ii) randomly selected physics schemes. The results of the Aila case show that the best set of physics schemes has more prediction skill than the randomly selected schemes in the case of track prediction. The cumulus (CPS), planetary boundary layer (PBL) and microphysics (MP) parameterization schemes have more impact on the track and intensity prediction skill than the other parameterizations employed in the mesoscale model.
Chandrasekar, R.; Balaji, C.
The first Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU) was launched aboard the NOAA-15 satellite on 13 May 1998. The AMSU is well suited for the observation of tropical cyclones because its measurements are not significantly affected by the ice clouds that cover tropical storms. In this paper, the following are presented: 1) upper-tropospheric thermal anomalies in tropical cyclones retrieved from AMSU
Stanley Q. Kidder; Mitchell D. Goldberg; Raymond M. Zehr; Mark DeMaria; James F. W. Purdom; Christopher S. Velden; Norman C. Grody; Sheldon J. Kusselson
Statistical aspects of the North Atlantic basin tropical cyclones for the interval 1945- 2005 are examined, including the variation of the yearly frequency of occurrence for various subgroups of storms (all tropical cyclones, hurricanes, major hurricanes, U.S. landfalling hurricanes, and category 4/5 hurricanes); the yearly variation of the mean latitude and longitude (genesis location) of all tropical cyclones and hurricanes; and the yearly variation of the mean peak wind speeds, lowest pressures, and durations for all tropical cyclones, hurricanes, and major hurricanes. Also examined is the relationship between inferred trends found in the North Atlantic basin tropical cyclonic activity and natural variability and global warming, the latter described using surface air temperatures from the Armagh Observatory Armagh, Northern Ireland. Lastly, a simple statistical technique is employed to ascertain the expected level of North Atlantic basin tropical cyclonic activity for the upcoming 2007 season.
Wilson, Robert M.
Numerical simulations of tropical-cyclone-like vortices are performed to analyze the effects of unidirectional vertical wind shear and translational flow upon the organization of convection within a hurricane's core region and upon the intensity of the storm. A series of dry and moist simulations is performed using the Pennsylvania State University-National Center for Atmospheric Research Mesoscale Model version 5 (MM5) with
William M. Frank; Elizabeth A. Ritchie
The effect of vertical shear on tropical cyclone intensity change is usually explained in terms of `ventilation' where heat and moisture at upper levels are advected away from the low-level circulation, which inhibits development. A simple two-layer diagnostic balance model is used to provide an alternate explanation of the effect of shear. When the upper-layer wind in the vortex environment
The use of QuikSCAT data for wind retrievals of tropical cyclones is described. The evidence of QuikSCAT ?0 dependence on wind direction for >30-m\\/s wind speeds is presented. The QuikSCAT ?0s show a peak-to-peak wind direction modulation of ?1 dB at 35-m\\/s wind speed, and the amplitude of modulation decreases with increasing wind speed. The decreasing directional sensitivity to wind
S. H. Yueh; B. W. Stiles; W. T. Liu
The Nimbus-7 Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) was used to map the distribution of total ozone around western North Pacific tropical cyclones from 1979 to 1982. The strong correlation between total ozone distribution and tropopause height found in the subtropical and midlatitudes made it possible for TOMS to monitor the propagation of upper-tropospheric waves and the mutual adjustment between these waves and tropical cyclones during their interaction. Changes in these total ozone patterns reflect the 3D upper-tropospheric transport processes that are involved in tropical cyclone intensity and intensity and motion changes. The total ozone distributions indicate that: (1) the mean upper-tropospheric circulations associated with western North Pacific and Atlantic tropical cyclones are similar; (2) more intense tropical cyclones have higher tropopauses around their centers; (3) more intense tropical cyclones have higher tropopauses on the anticyclonic-shear side of their outflow jets, which indicate that the more intense tropical cyclones have stronger outflow channels than less intense systems; (4) tropical cyclones that intensify (do not intensify) are within 10 deg (15 deg) latitude of weak (strong) upper-tropospheric troughs that are moderately rich (very rich) in total ozone; and (5) tropical cyclones turn to the left (right) when they move within approximately 15 deg latitude downstream of an ozone-poor (ozone-rich) upper-tropospheric ridge (trough).
Stout, John; Rodgers, Edward B.
Data from the Nimbus 5 electrically scanning microwave radiometer (ESMR) are used to make calculations of the latent heat release (L.H.R.) and the distribution of rainfall rate in a tropical cyclone as it grows from a tropical disturbance to a typhoon. The L.H.R. (calculated over a circular area of 4 deg latitude radius) increases during the development and intensification of the storm from a magnitude of 2.7 X 10 to the 21st power ergs/s (in the disturbance stage) to 8.8 X 10 to the 21st power ergs (typhoon stage). The latter value corresponds to a mean rainfall rate of 2.0 mm hr/s. The more intense the cyclone and the greater the L.H.R., the greater the percentage contribution of the larger rainfall rates to the L.H.R. In the disturbance stage the percentage contribution of rainfall rates less than or minus 6 mm hr/s is typically 8%; for the typhoon stage, the value is 38%. The distribution of rainfall rate as a function of radial distance from the center indicates that as the cyclone intensifies, the higher rainfall rates tend to concentrate toward the center of the circulation.
Adler, R. F.; Rodgers, E. B.
A significant number of tropical cyclones move into the midlatitudes and transform into extratropical cyclones. This process is generally referred to as extratropical transition (ET). During ET a cyclone frequently produces intense rainfall and strong winds and has increased forward motion, so that such systems pose a serious threat to land and maritime activities. Changes in the structure of a
Sarah C. Jones; Patrick A. Harr; Jim Abraham; Lance F. Bosart; Peter J. Bowyer; Jenni L. Evans; Deborah E. Hanley; Barry N. Hanstrum; Robert E. Hart; François Lalaurette; Mark R. Sinclair; Roger K. Smith; Chris Thorncroft
It has been suggested that the enhanced mixing caused by tropical cyclones might contribute significantly to the ocean heat transport, causing an additional heat uptake in the low latitudes of about 0.5 to 1.5 PW. These results, however, were based on the assumption that all heat pumped below the mixed layer by tropical cyclones is finally released in higher latitudes. This assumption is questioned in the talk by addressing two overlooked characteristics of tropical cyclone induced ocean mixing. The first regards the observation that tropical cyclones rarely occur polewards of about 10 degree latitude. A general circulation model is used to show that if mixing is enhanced solely in the subtropical bands, where tropical cyclones are observed, most of the heat taken up in the subtropics is transported into the equatorial strip, effectively reducing the poleward heat transport out of the deep tropics. A second important characteristic of tropical cyclones is their dominant occurrence during summer and early fall, when the ocean mixed layer is generally shallow. As the mixed layer deepens in the following winter, any warm anomaly deposited within the seasonal thermocline will be reabsorbed by the mixed layer and lost to the atmosphere. Using satellite sea surface temperature and climatological subsurface ocean data, we estimate that only about one quarter of the heat that is mixed downward by tropical cyclones eventually makes it into the permanent thermocline. The implications of our results for the impact of tropical cyclones on present and past climates will be discussed
Jansen, M. F.; Ferrari, R. M.
As the coverage and frequency of tropical observations increased during and after World War II, so did our understanding of the fundamental atmospheric and oceanic conditions that limit tropical cyclone intensity. For instance, Palmen (1948) discovered th...
S. A. Hausman
The National Hurricane Center has recently compiled a magnetic tape on North Atlantic tropical cyclones. The tape contains the dates, tracks, wind speeds, and central pressure values (if available) for all tropical cyclones occurring over the 92-year peri...
B. R. Jarvinen E. L. Caso
Tropical cyclones (TCs) have a dramatic impact on the upper ocean. Storm-generated oceanic mixing, high amplitude near-inertial currents, upwelling, and heat fluxes often warm or cool the surface ocean temperatures over large regions near tropical cyclones. These SST anomalies occur to the right (Northern Hemisphere) or left (Southern Hemisphere) of the storm track, varying along and across the storm track. These wide swaths of temperature change have been previously documented by in situ field programs as well as IR and visible satellite data. The amplitude, temporal and spatial variability of these surface temperature anomalies depend primarily upon the storm size, storm intensity, translational velocity, and the underlying ocean conditions. Tropical cyclone 'cold wakes' are usually 2 - 5 °C cooler than pre-storm SSTs, and persist for days to weeks. Since storms that occur in rapid succession typically follow similar paths, the cold wake from one storm can affect development of subsequent storms. Recent studies, on both warm and cold wakes, have mostly focused on small subsets of global storms because of the amount of work it takes to co-locate different data sources to a storm's location. While a number of hurricane/typhoon websites exist that co-locate various datasets to TC locations, none provide 3-dimensional temporal and spatial structure of the ocean-atmosphere necessary to study cold/warm wake development and impact. We are developing a global 3-dimensional storm centric database for TC research. The database we propose will include in situ data, satellite data, and model analyses. Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) has a widely-used storm watch archive which provides the user an interface for visually analyzing collocated NASA Quick Scatterometer (QuikSCAT) winds with GHRSST microwave SSTs and SSM/I, TMI or AMSR-E rain rates for all global tropical cyclones 1999-2009. We will build on this concept of bringing together different data near storm locations when developing the storm-centric database. This database will be made available to researchers via the web display tools previously developed for RSS web pages. The database will provide scientists with a single data format collection of various atmospheric and oceanographic data, and will include all tropical storms since 1998, when the passive MW SSTs from the TMI instrument first became available. Initial results showing an analysis of Typhoon Man-Yi will be presented.
Gentemann, C. L.; Scott, J. P.; Smith, D.
Important part of moist entropy budget is the advection of moist entropy in or out of the system, due to interaction of wind and moist entropy fields. The dropwindsonde data from several tropical storms is used to calculate both of those fields, as well as the resulting flow. In order to determine if the storm is exporting or importing moist entropy, the advection is horizontally averaged and vertically integrated. The storms of interest were Alex, Karl, Gaston and Fanapi from 2010. First three occurred in Atlantic basin while Fanapi evolved over Pacific basin. Gaston is the only one that was not developing during dropsonde missions, so it can be used as some kind of indicator of non-developing features in the entropy flux. The data show that during the development of the storm, the values of the moist entropy export are lower than for non-developing systems.
We describe the first use of a fully integrated biogeochemical model to explore the response of a marine shelf system to a tropical cyclone. Ocean currents, nutrients, sediments and plankton dynamics were simulated under conditions representative of Tropical Cyclone Bobby, which traversed the Australian North West Shelf in February 1995. Results show strong upwelling of nutrients and a phytoplankton bloom.
S. A. Condie; M. Herzfeld; N. Margvelashvili; J. R. Andrewartha
An empirical analysis program, based on finding an optimal representation of the data, has been applied to 120 observations of twenty nine 1973 and 1974 North Pacific tropical cyclones. Each observation consists of a field of Nimbus-5 Electrically Scanning Microwave Radiometer (ESMR-5) radiation measurements at 267 grid points covering and surrounding the tropical cyclone plus nine other non-satellite derived descriptors.
Herbert E. Hunter; Edward B. Rodgers; William E. Shenk
The tropical cyclone rainfall climatology study that was performed for the North Pacific was extended to the North Atlantic. Similar to the North Pacific tropical cyclone study, mean monthly rainfall within 444 km of the center of the North Atlantic tropi...
E. B. Rodgers R. F. Adler H. F. Pierce
Tropical cyclones (TC), especially when their intensity reaches hurricane scale, can become a costly natural hazard. Accurate prediction of tropical cyclone intensity is very difficult because of inadequate observations on TC structures, poor understanding of physical processes, coarse model resolution and inaccurate initial conditions, etc. This…
Long-term observations have revealed large amplitude fluctuations in the frequency and intensity of tropical cyclones (TCs; refs , , , ), but the anthropogenic impacts, including greenhouse gases and particulate matter pollution, remain to be elucidated. Here, we show distinct aerosol effects on the development of TCs: the coupled microphysical and radiative effects of anthropogenic aerosols result in delayed development, weakened intensity and early dissipation, but an enlarged rainband and increased precipitation under polluted conditions. Our results imply that anthropogenic aerosols probably exhibit an opposite effect to that of greenhouse gases, highlighting the necessity of incorporating a realistic microphysical-radiative interaction of aerosols for accurate forecasting and climatic prediction of TCs in atmospheric models.
Wang, Yuan; Lee, Keun-Hee; Lin, Yun; Levy, Misti; Zhang, Renyi
In light of the increased destructiveness of tropical cyclones observed over recent decades one might assume that an increase and not a decrease in tropical cyclone activity would lead to societal stress and perhaps collapse of ancient cultures. In this study we present evidence that a reduction in the frequency and intensity of tropical Atlantic cyclones could have contributed to the collapse of the Maya civilization during the Terminal Classic Period (TCP, AD. 800-950). Statistical comparisons of a quantitative precipitation record from the Yucatan Peninsula (YP) Maya lowlands, based on the stalagmite known as Chaac (after the Mayan God of rain and agriculture), relative to environmental proxy records of El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO), tropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures (SSTs), and tropical Atlantic cyclone counts, suggest that these records share significant coherent variability during the TCP and that summer rainfall reductions between 30 and 50% in the Maya lowlands occurred in association with decreased Atlantic tropical cyclones. Analysis of modern instrumental hydrological data suggests cyclone rainfall contributions to the YP equivalent to the range of rainfall deficits associated with decreased tropical cyclone activity during the collapse of the Maya civilization. Cyclone driven precipitation variability during the TCP, implies that climate change may have triggered Maya civilization collapse via freshwater scarcity for domestic use without significant detriment to agriculture. Pyramid in Tikal, the most prominent Maya Kingdom that collapsed during the Terminal Classic Period (circa C.E. 800-950) Rainfall feeding stalagmites inside Rio Secreto cave system, Yucatan, Mexico.
Medina, M. A.; Polanco-Martinez, J. M.; Lases-Hernández, F.; Bradley, R. S.; Burns, S. J.
Initial results are presented on research designed to evaluate the usefulness of Visible Infrared Spin Scan Radiometer Atmospheric Sounder(VAS)data in tropical cyclone applications. It is part of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration funded VAS demonstration, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Operational VAS Assessment (NOVA) program. The University of Wisconsin (UW) Space Science and Engineering Center (SSEC) and the National Environmental Satellite. Data, and Information Service (NESDIS) Development Laboratory at the SSEC have been working with the National Hurricane Center (NHC), and the NOAA/Environmental Research Laboratories Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory-Hurricane Research Division (HRD) to explore the different uses of goostationary satellite VAS data in tropical cyclone analysis and forecasting. Because of the cloud-penetrating capability of the microwave component of the TIROS Operational Vertical Sounder (TOVS), polar orbiting satellite TOVS soundings in cloudy regions are used in some cases to enhance the VAS products along with cloud drift and water vapor motion winds derived from VAS imagery. This report describes some of the VAS/TOVS products being generated and evaluated on the Man-computer Interactive Data Access System (McIDAS) at the UW-SSEC and the NHC.
Velden, Christopher S.; Smith, William L.; Mayfield, Max
The effect of vertical shear on tropical cyclone intensity change is usually explained in terms of `ventilation' where heat and moisture at upper levels are advected away from the low-level circulation, which inhibits development. A simple two-layer diagnostic balance model is used to provide an alternate explanation of the effect of shear. When the upper-layer wind in the vortex environment differs from that in the lower layer, the potential vorticity (PV) pattern associated with the vortex circulation becomes tilted in the vertical. The balanced mass field associated with the tilted PV pattern requires an increased midlevel temperature perturbation near the vortex center. It is hypothesized that this midlevel warming reduces the convective activity and inhibits the storm development.Previous studies have shown that diabatic heating near the storm center acts to reduce the vertical tilt of the vortex circulation. These studies have also shown that there is an adiabatic process that acts to reduce the vertical tilt of a vortex. The effectiveness of the adiabatic process depends on the Rossby penetration depth, which increases with latitude, horizontal scale, and vortex amplitude. Large-scale analyses from the 1989-1994 Atlantic hurricane seasons are used to show that high-latitude, large. and intense tropical cyclones tend to be less sensitive to the effect of vertical shear than low-latitude, small, and weak storms.
High-latitude blocking is a subseasonal atmospheric phenomenon that has been linked to a variety of high-impact weather, including flooding rains, heat waves, and cold-air outbreaks. Increasing understanding of the precursors to high-latitude blocking thus is an avenue through which subseasonal forecasting of high-impact weather may be improved. In this study, the hypothesis that recurving tropical cyclones over the western North Pacific favor high-latitude blocking is explored from statistical and dynamical perspectives. This hypothesis is based on the observed tendency for recurving tropical cyclones to induce cyclonic Rossby wave breaking, a mechanism for high-latitude block formation. In this study, a standard blocking index is used in conjunction with a database of recurving tropical cyclones over the western North Pacific to assess the frequency of blocking episodes following recurving tropical cyclones, and, conversely, the frequency of recurving tropical cyclones preceding blocking episodes. In addition, composite analyses are constructed from the 0.5° NCEP/NCAR Climate Forecast System Reanalysis data to establish the dynamical mechanisms and physical processes linking recurving tropical cyclones to the onset of blocking. It is found that blocking tends to occur a wavelength or more downstream from the recurving tropical cyclone within the poleward exit region of an elongated, intensified jet steam, where cyclonic wave breaking is favored. Given the importance of the jet stream in the onset of blocking, this study specifically addresses how characteristics of the phasing between the tropical cyclone outflow and extratropical features influence the structure and intensity of the downstream jet stream.
Archambault, H.; Harr, P.
High-latitude blocking is a subseasonal atmospheric phenomenon that has been linked to a variety of high-impact weather, including flooding rains, heat waves, and cold-air outbreaks. Increasing understanding of the precursors to high-latitude blocking thus is an avenue through which subseasonal forecasting of high-impact weather may be improved. In this study, the hypothesis that recurving tropical cyclones over the western North Pacific favor high-latitude blocking is explored from statistical and dynamical perspectives. This hypothesis is based on the observed tendency for recurving tropical cyclones to induce cyclonic Rossby wave breaking, a mechanism for high-latitude block formation. In this study, a standard blocking index is used in conjunction with a database of recurving tropical cyclones over the western North Pacific to assess the frequency of blocking episodes following recurving tropical cyclones, and, conversely, the frequency of recurving tropical cyclones preceding blocking episodes. In addition, composite analyses are constructed from the 0.5° NCEP/NCAR Climate Forecast System Reanalysis data to establish the dynamical mechanisms and physical processes linking recurving tropical cyclones to the onset of blocking. It is found that blocking tends to occur a wavelength or more downstream from the recurving tropical cyclone within the poleward exit region of an elongated, intensified jet steam, where cyclonic wave breaking is favored. Given the importance of the jet stream in the onset of blocking, this study specifically addresses how characteristics of the phasing between the tropical cyclone outflow and extratropical features influence the structure and intensity of the downstream jet stream.
Arnold, N.; Tziperman, E.; Kuang, Z.
The Mediterranean basin is characterized by the genesis of a large number of cyclonic systems. Most of the cyclones generated in this area have a baroclinic nature. A few storms every year, however, develop a dynamical evolution similar to the one of tropical cyclones, showing an axis-symmetric vertical profile, a warm core, a cloud-free eye surrounded by a cloud cover with spiral shape, and winds up to the hurricane speed. The strongest between such storms exhibit a striking resemblance to the lower-latitudes hurricanes, except for the mesoscale spatial extent, and have thus been termed medicanes (Mediterranean hurricanes). Medicanes are considered rare phenomena, - the number of observed cases documented in the literature is around ten - but are associated to severe damage on coastal areas. Due to the scarcity of observations over sea, and to the coarse resolution of the long-term reanalysis datasets, it is difficult to construct a homogeneous statistics of the formation of medicanes. Using an approach (tested on a number of historical medicane cases) based on the high-resolution dynamical downscaling of the NCEP/NCAR reanalysis, and exploiting an objective detection algorithm specifically designed to single out the features of medicanes, the statistical properties of such storms (annual cycle, decadal and inter-annual variability, geographical distribution, trends) over the last six decades have been studied in a systematic way, and the linkage between the frequency of medicanes formation and synoptic patterns has been investigated. It was found that medicanes occur indeed with a low frequency, and that they are formed mostly during the cold season in the western Mediterranean and in the region extending between the Ionian Sea and the northern coast of Africa. The analysis of the environmental factors related with the formation of medicanes shows that the genesis mechanism requires a sufficiently large difference between the sea surface temperature and the temperature in the upper atmospheric layers, in order to increase the atmospheric instability. A low wind shear, high moisture content, and high low-level vorticity are all factors that favor the development of medicanes. Applying the same downscaling procedure to the atmospheric fields produced by a global model, forced with the greenhouse gas concentration prescribed in different future climate scenarios, the impact of climate change on the statistics of Mediterranean tropical-like cyclones is estimated. It is found that in the last three decades of the current century, the frequency of mesoscale Mediterranean storms showing tropical-like features is projected to decrease. On the other hand, the percentage of such storms reaching a high intensity shows a tendency towards a moderate increase. References: - Cavicchia L, von Storch H: The simulation of medicanes in a high-resolution regional climate model. Clim. Dyn. 39:2273-2290 (2012) - Cavicchia L, von Storch H, Gualdi S: A long-term climatology of medicanes. Clim. Dyn. DOI: 10.1007/s00382-013-1893-7 (2013) - Cavicchia L, Gualdi S, von Storch H: Mediterranean tropical-like cyclones: present and future, in preparation.
Cavicchia, Leone; von Storch, Hans; Gualdi, Silvio
Estimates are presented for the expected level of tropical cyclone activity for the 2011 North Atlantic Basin hurricane season. It is anticipated that the frequency of tropical cyclones for the North Atlantic Basin during the 2011 hurricane season will be near to above the post-1995 means. Based on the Poisson distribution of tropical cyclone frequencies for the current more active interval 1995-2010, one computes P(r) = 63.7% for the expected frequency of the number of tropical cyclones during the 2011 hurricane season to be 14 plus or minus 3; P(r) = 62.4% for the expected frequency of the number of hurricanes to be 8 plus or minus 2; P(r) = 79.3% for the expected frequency of the number of major hurricanes to be 3 plus or minus 2; and P(r) = 72.5% for the expected frequency of the number of strikes by a hurricane along the coastline of the United States to be 1 plus or minus 1. Because El Nino is not expected to recur during the 2011 hurricane season, clearly, the possibility exists that these seasonal frequencies could easily be exceeded. Also examined are the effects of the El Nino-Southern Oscillation phase and climatic change (global warming) on tropical cyclone seasonal frequencies, the variation of the seasonal centroid (latitude and longitude) location of tropical cyclone onsets, and the variation of the seasonal peak wind speed and lowest pressure for tropical cyclones.
Wilson, Robert M.
Complimenting modern records of tropical cyclone activity with longer historical and paleoclimatological records would increase our understanding of natural tropical cyclone variability on decadal to centennial time scales. Tropical cyclones produce large amounts of precipitation with significantly lower ?18O values than normal precipitation, and hence may be geochemically identifiable as negative ?18O anomalies in marine carbonate ?18O records. This study investigates the usefulness of coral skeletal ?18O as a means of reconstructing past tropical cyclone events. Isotopic modeling of rainfall mixing with seawater shows that detecting an isotopic signal from a tropical cyclone in a coral requires a salinity of ~ 33 psu at the time of coral growth, but this threshold is dependent on the isotopic composition of both fresh and saline end-members. A comparison between coral ?18O and historical records of tropical cyclone activity, river discharge, and precipitation from multiple sites in Puerto Rico shows that tropical cyclones are not distinguishable in the coral record from normal rainfall using this approach at these sites.
Kilbourne, K. Halimeda; Moyer, Ryan P.; Quinn, Terrence M.; Grottoli, Andrea G.
The ability of dry tropical-cyclone-like vortices to resist vertical shear is discussed. An idealized model calculation is presented in which a dry vortex remains nearly upright during 4 days under the influence of environmental vertical shear. It is shown that the outer portion of the vortex tilts more strongly than the inner core and that the pattern of vertical velocity is related to the vertical tilt of the outer portion of the vortex. This result is discussed with relation to observations of the location of convection in tropical cyclones. An alternative definition of the vortex center is proposed for cases in which the vertical tilt of the vortex is of importance. The average vertical shear across the center of the vortex is shown to depend on both the vortex tilt and the presence of large-scale potential vorticity asymmetries in the outer regions of the vortex. The average vertical shear is a function of time and of the area of the circle over which the averaging is carried out. Thus, the initial environmental shear may not be a reliable measure of the vertical shear felt by the vortex at later times.
Jones, Sarah C.
Examined are statistical aspects of the 715 tropical cyclones that formed in the North Atlantic basin during the interval 1945-2010. These 715 tropical cyclones include 306 storms that attained only tropical storm strength, 409 hurricanes, 179 major or intense hurricanes, and 108 storms that struck the US coastline as hurricanes. Comparisons made using 10-year moving average (10-yma) values between tropical cyclone parametric values and surface air and ENSO-related parametric values indicate strong correlations to exist, in particular, against the Armagh Observatory (Northern Ireland) surface air temperature, the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO) index, the Atlantic Meridional Mode (AMM) index, and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index, in addition to the Oceanic Ni o index (ONI) and Quasi-Biennial Oscillation (QBO) indices. Also examined are the decadal variations of the tropical cyclone parametric values and a look ahead towards the 2012 hurricane season and beyond.
Wilson, Robert M.
The hurricane season of 2005 was the busiest on record and Hurricane Katrina (2005) is believed to be the costliest hurricane in U. S. history. There are growing concerns regarding whether this increased tropical cyclone activity is a result of global warming, as suggested by Emanuel(2005) and Webster et al. (2005), or just a natural oscillation (Goldenberg et al. 2001). This study examines the changes in tropical cyclone intensity to see what were really responsible for the changes in tropical cyclone activity over the past 30 years. Since the tropical sea surface temperature (SST) warming also leads to the response of atmospheric circulation, which is not solely determined by the local SST warming, this study suggests that it is better to take the tropical cyclone activities in the North Atlantic (NA), western North Pacific (WNP) and eastern North Pacific (ENP) basins as a whole when searching for the influence of the global-scale SST warming on tropical cyclone intensity. Over the past 30 years, as the tropical SST increased by about 0.5 C, the linear trends indicate 6%, 16% and 15% increases in the overall average intensity and lifetime and the annual frequency. Our analysis shows that the increased annual destructiveness of tropical cyclones reported by Emanuel(2005) resulted mainly from the increases in the average lifetime and annual frequency in the NA basin and from the increases in the average intensity and lifetime in the WNP basin, while the annual destructiveness in the ENP basin generally decreased over the past 30 years. The changes in the proportion of intense tropical cyclones reported by Webster et a1 (2005) were due mainly to the fact that increasing tropical cyclones took the tracks that favor for the development of intense tropical cyclones in the NA and WNP basins over the past 30 years. The dynamic influence associated with the tropical SST warming can lead to the impact of global warming on tropical cyclone intensity that may be very different from our current assessments, which were mainly based on the thermodynamic theory of tropical cyclone intensity.
Wu, Liguang; Wang, Bin; Braun, Scott A.
Yearly frequencies of North Atlantic basin tropical cyclones, their locations of origin, peak wind speeds, average peak wind speeds, lowest pressures, and average lowest pressures for the interval 1950-2008 are examined. The effects of El Nino and La Nina on the tropical cyclone parametric values are investigated. Yearly and 10-year moving average (10-yma) values of tropical cyclone parameters are compared against those of temperature and decadal-length oscillation, employing both linear and bi-variate analysis, and first differences in the 10-yma are determined. Discussion of the 2009 North Atlantic basin hurricane season, updating earlier results, is given.
Wilson, Robert M.
Ocean mixing affects global climate and the marine biosphere because it is linked to the ocean's ability to store and transport heat and nutrients. Observations have constrained the magnitude of upper ocean mixing associated with certain processes, but mixing rates measured directly are significantly lower than those inferred from budget analyses, suggesting that other processes may play an important role. The winds associated with tropical cyclones are known to lead to localized mixing of the upper ocean, but the hypothesis that tropical cyclones are important mixing agents at the global scale has not been tested. Here we calculate the effect of tropical cyclones on surface ocean temperatures by comparing surface temperatures before and after storm passage, and use these results to calculate the vertical mixing induced by tropical cyclone activity. Our results indicate that tropical cyclones are responsible for significant cooling and vertical mixing of the surface ocean in tropical regions. Assuming that all the heat that is mixed downwards is balanced by heat transport towards the poles, we calculate that approximately 15 per cent of peak ocean heat transport may be associated with the vertical mixing induced by tropical cyclones. Furthermore, our analyses show that the magnitude of this mixing is strongly related to sea surface temperature, indicating that future changes in tropical sea surface temperatures may have significant effects on ocean circulation and ocean heat transport that are not currently accounted for in climate models.
Sriver, Ryan L.; Huber, Matthew
This study presents the first multidecadal and coupled regional simulation of cyclonic activity in the South Pacific. The long-term integration of state-of the art models provides reliable statistics, missing in usual event studies, of air-sea coupling processes controlling tropical cyclone (TC) intensity. The coupling effect is analyzed through comparison of the coupled model with a companion forced experiment. Cyclogenesis patterns in the coupled model are closer to observations with reduced cyclogenesis in the Coral Sea. This provides novel evidence of air-sea coupling impacting not only intensity but also spatial cyclogenesis distribution. Storm-induced cooling and consequent negative feedback is stronger for regions of shallow mixed layers and thin or absent barrier layers as in the Coral Sea. The statistical effect of oceanic mesoscale eddies on TC intensity (crossing over them 20 % of the time) is also evidenced. Anticyclonic eddies provide an insulating effect against storm-induced upwelling and mixing and appear to reduce sea surface temperature (SST) cooling. Cyclonic eddies on the contrary tend to promote strong cooling, particularly through storm-induced upwelling. Air-sea coupling is shown to have a significant role on the intensification process but the sensitivity of TCs to SST cooling is nonlinear and generally lower than predicted by thermodynamic theories: about 15 rather than over 30 hPa °C-1 and only for strong cooling. The reason is that the cooling effect is not instantaneous but accumulated over time within the TC inner-core. These results thus contradict the classical evaporation-wind feedback process as being essential to intensification and rather emphasize the role of macro-scale dynamics.
Jullien, Swen; Marchesiello, Patrick; Menkes, Christophe E.; Lefèvre, Jérôme; Jourdain, Nicolas C.; Samson, Guillaume; Lengaigne, Matthieu
Tropical cyclones are the most extreme weather phenomena which severely impact coastal communities and island nations. There is an ongoing research (i) on accurate analysis of observed trends in tropical cyclone occurrences, and (ii) how tropical cyclone frequency and intensity may change in the future as a result of climate change. Reliable historical records of cyclone activity are vital for this research. The Pacific Australia Climate Change Science and Adaptation Planning (PACCSAP) program is dedicated to help Pacific Island countries and Timor Leste gain a better understanding of how climate change will impact their regions. One of the key PACCSAP projects is focused on developing a tropical cyclone archive, climatology and seasonal prediction for the regions. As part of the project, historical tropical cyclone best track data have been examined and prepared to be subsequently displayed through the enhanced tropical cyclone data portal for the Southern Hemisphere and the Western Pacific Ocean. Data from the Regional Specialised Meteorological Centre (RSMC) Nadi, Fiji and Tropical Cyclone Warning Centres (TCWCs) in Brisbane, Darwin and Wellington for 1969-1970 to 2010-2011 tropical cyclone seasons have been carefully examined. Errors and inconsistencies which have been found during the quality control procedure have been corrected. To produce a consolidated data set for the South Pacific Ocean, best track data from these four centres have been used. Specifically, for 1969-1970 to 1994-1995 tropical cyclone seasons, data from TCWCs in Brisbane, Darwin and Wellington have been used. In 1995, RSMC Nadi, Fiji has been established with responsibilities for issuing tropical cyclone warnings and preparing best track data for the area south of the equator to 25°S, 160°E to 120°W. Consequently, data from RSMC Nadi have been used as a primary source for this area, starting from the 1995-1996 tropical cyclone season. These data have been combined with the data from TCWC Wellington for the area 25°S to 40°S, 160°E to 120°W and with the data from TCWCs in Brisbane and Darwin for the area south of the equator to 37°S, 135°E to 160°E. In addition, tropical cyclone best track data for the North-West Pacific for 1977-2011 seasons prepared at RSMC Tokyo and for the South Indian Ocean for 1969-2011 prepared at RSMC la Réunion have been added to the dataset. As a result, new design of the Southern Hemisphere/Pacific Tropical Cyclone Data Portal (http://www.bom.gov.au/cyclone/history/tracks/) incorporates best track data for the Western Pacific both south and north of the equator and for the South Indian Ocean. The portal has been developed using the OpenLayers web mapping library. Main features of the portal include dynamic map navigation, presenting detailed cyclone information for a selected region in the Southern Hemisphere and North-West Pacific and displaying changes in tropical cyclone intensity over the lifetime of a cyclone. One of the unique features of the portal is its enhanced functionality for spatial and temporal selection for cyclones in selected areas (e.g. economic exclusion zones of the countries). Acknowledgement The research discussed in this paper was conducted through the PACCSAP supported by the AusAID and the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency and delivered by the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO. We acknowledge C. Shamsu, D. Duong, P. Lopatecki, W. Banerjee, P. He, P. Wickramasinghe and A. Bauers from the School of Computer Sciences and IT at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) University, Melbourne, Australia for their contribution to the development of the portal's functionality on spatial selection.
Kuleshov, Yuriy; de Wit, Roald; Atalifo, Terry; Prakash, Bipendra; Waqaicelua, Alipate; Kunitsugu, Masashi; Caroff, Philippe; Chane-Ming, Fabrice
Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I) observations were used to examine the spatial and temporal changes of the precipitation characteristics of tropical cyclones. SSM/I observations were also combined with the results of a tropical cyclone numerical model to examine the role of inner-core diabatic heating in subsequent intensity changes of tropical cyclones. Included in the SSM/I observations were rainfall characteristics of 18 named western North Atlantic tropical cyclones between 1987 and 1989. The SSM/I rain-rate algorithm that employed the 85-GHz channel provided an analysis of the rain-rate distribution in greater detail. However, the SSM/I algorithm underestimated the rain rates when compared to in situ techniques but appeared to be comparable to the rain rates obtained from other satellite-borne passive microwave radiometers. The analysis of SSM/I observations found that more intense systems had higher rain rates, more latent heat release, and a greater contribution from heavier rain to the total tropical cyclone rainfall. In addition, regions with the heaviest rain rates were found near the center of the most intense tropical cyclones. Observational analysis from SSM/I also revealed that the greatest rain rates in the inner-core regions were found in the right half of fast-moving cyclones, while the heaviest rain rates in slow-moving tropical cyclones were found in the forward half. The combination of SSM/I observations and an interpretation of numerical model simulations revealed that the correlation between changes in the inner core diabetic heating and the subsequent intensity became greater as the tropical cyclones became more intense.
Rodgers, Edward B.; Chang, Simon W.; Pierce, Harold F.
The vertical coupling and movement of an adiabatic baroclinic tropical cyclone (TC) are investigated through two numerical experiments in which the TC is affected by either a vertical environmental shear or a differential beta drift. In both cases, the initial response of the symmetric vortex is to tilt in the vertical. In response to the vertical tilt, a three-dimensional asymmetric circulation with a typical radius of 100 km develops within the TC core region. In addition, the wavenumber-one potential vorticity (PV) anomalies develop with positive anomalies downtilt (uptilt) above (below) the maximum PV level in order to maintain a balanced state between the thermal and dynamical fields. On a beta plane, in contrast to the beta gyres, the mesoscale asymmetric circulation is a pair of counterrotating inner gyres centered at the radius of maximum wind. As a result, the resulting three-dimensional mesoscale asymmetric circulation, not the penetration flow, plays an important role in the vertical coupling of adiabatic baroclinic vortices. In both cases, the TC motion is not simply due to the advection of the symmetric PV component by the asymmetric (ventilation) flow. The horizontal advection of the asymmetric PV anomalies by the symmetric cyclonic flow and the vertical PV advection associated with the asymmetric vertical motion also considerably contribute to the TC motion. The latter two processes also play a critical role in the vertical coupling of the baroclinic TC due to the presence of the vertical PV gradient.
Wu, Liguang; Wang, Bin
Using International Best Track Archive for Climate Stewardship (IBTrACS, version v03r03) analysis during satellite era (1986-2010) we determined the trends of intensification of tropical cyclones (TC) over all the global basins, except the North Indian Ocean. Over all the basins, the rate of TC intensification from 64 kt to first peak of intensity maxima (global average value = 104 kt) was found to be positive. The above trends were significant for 4 out of 5 basins, except the North West Pacific. The trends indicate that the TCs now intensify from 64 kt to 104 kt nearly 9 hours earlier than they did 25 years back. The maximum reduction in intensification time is noticed over the North Atlantic Ocean where the average time needed for TC to intensify from 64 kt to 112 kt has reduced by nearly 20 hours during the past 25-year period.
Kishtawal, C. M.; Jaiswal, Neeru; Singh, Randhir; Niyogi, D.
The utility of current generation climate models for studying the influence of greenhouse warming on the tropical storm climatology is examined. A method developed to identify tropical cyclones is applied to a series of model integrations. The global distribution of tropical storms is simulated by these models in a generally realistic manner. While the model resolution is insufficient to reproduce
A. J. Broccoli; S. Manabe
ventilation index serves as a theoretically based metric to assess possible changes in the statistics of tropical cyclones to combined changes in vertical wind shear, midlevel entropy deficit, and potential intensity in climate models. Model output from eight Coupled Model Intercomparison Project 5 models is used to calculate the ventilation index. The ventilation index and its relationship to tropical cyclone activity between two 20 year periods are compared: the historical experiment from 1981 to 2000 and the RCP8.5 experiment from 2081 to 2100. The general tendency is for an increase in the seasonal ventilation index in the majority of the tropical cyclone basins, with exception of the North Indian basin. All the models project an increase in the midlevel entropy deficit in the tropics, although the effects of this increase on the ventilation index itself are tempered by a compensating increase in the potential intensity and a decrease in the vertical wind shear in most tropical cyclone basins. The nonlinear combination of the terms in the ventilation index results in large regional and intermodel variability. Basin changes in the ventilation index are well correlated with changes in the frequency of tropical cyclone formation and rapid intensification in the climate models. However, there is large uncertainty in the projections of the ventilation index and the corresponding effects on changes in the statistics of tropical cyclone activity.
Tang, Brian; Camargo, Suzana J.
Dependence of frequency of occurrence of tropical cyclones in Atlantic Ocean both on a phase and anomaly of the Moon, and on a phase of a perigee of a lunar orbit is established. All curves show onto two peaks, and the quantity of cyclones changes of 1.5 times in unit of time. Connection between a geographical longitude of a place
M. S. Dement'ev
Satellite measured equivalent blackbody temperatures of Atlantic Ocean tropical cyclones are used to investigate their role in describing the convection and cloud patterns of the storms and in predicting wind intensity. The high temporal resolution of the...
J. Steranka E. B. Rodgers R. C. Gentry
The calibration and validation of surface wind and stress retrievals from oceanic synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery is especially difficult in tropical cyclone (TC) conditions. The geophysical model functions (GMFs) that characterize the radar backsc...
J. Patoux R. Foster
This study examines the effects of large-scale circulations (e.g., ENSO, Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), Antarctic Oscillation (AAO), and Monsoon Trough (MT)) on tropical cyclone (TC) activity in the Western North Pacific (WN...
R. A. Trevino
this study, the tropical cyclone structure at the onset of rapid intensification (RI) is examined using the cloud-permitting version of the Hurricane Weather Research and Forecast (HWRF) model. Idealized experiments with different vortex initial vertical structures in different environments show that the HWRF model vortex possesses a specific constraint in the dynamical and thermodynamic structure at the RI onset including (i) a warm anomaly of 1-3°K, (ii) a moist column with relative humidity > 90% within the storm central region, and (iii) low-level tangential flow ?12 m s-1. Regardless of vortex structures or environment conditions applied in this study, model vortex does not intensify if the above constraint is not established. Such a requirement in the model moisture and dynamical structure at the RI onset can explain why the RI onset is much delayed in dry experiments as compared to the onset in moist experiments.
Kieu, Chanh; Tallapragada, Vijay; Hogsett, Wallace
Following the different cases of Tropical Cyclone (TC) intensification that has been associated to TC-warm ocean feature encounters, it is analyzed here a statistical correlation among both of the satellite surface parameters, SST and SLA, and the triggering of maximum hurricane intensity. Using satellite data of altimetry and SST (Reynolds) and UNYSIS best-track data base of hurricane parameters, Ocean Surface Conditions (OSC) are investigated in relation to intensification of Tropical Cyclone (TC) during the last 15-yr period. The study region of apply is the American tropical seas, which includes Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea and Eastern Tropical Pacific (ETP). In both of the basins, it is systematically identifying the OSC for each hurricane event, which were previously prevailing on the closest presence of the hurricane track at the time registered of their peak intensity. Results indicate a major thermal favorable OSC for the TC intensify on the eastern Gulf of Mexico and northwestern Caribbean Sea than the ETP. Moreover, SLA seems to be a significant role on boosting the TC intensification, nevertheless about half of the major hurricanes that developed in each of both of the regions appear to have encountered negative anomalies of their prevail OSC. These precedents represent a high complex degree for TC intensification monitoring and forecasting challenge by the only use of OSC tracking by satellite sensoring, but also to deal operatively with TC intensity maintenance.
Sanchez Montante, O.; Hernandez Olivares, A.
Surface flux parameterization schemes used in current dynamic models are primarily based upon measurements at low and moderate\\u000a wind speeds. Recent studies show that these parameterization schemes may be incorrect at high wind speeds (e.g., tropical\\u000a cyclone forecasts). Five high-resolution numerical model experiments are designed to assess the sensitivity of tropical cyclone\\u000a intensity forecasts to changes in the surface flux
The possible linkage of tropical cyclones (TC) to global warming is a hotly debated scientific topic, with immense societal impacts. Most of the debate has been focused on the issue of uncertainty in the use of non-research quality data for long-term trend analyses, especially with regard to TC intensity provided by TC forecasting centers. On the other hand, it is well known that TCs are associated with heavy rain during the processes of genesis and intensification, and that there are growing evidences that rainfall characteristics (not total rainfall) are most likely to be affected by global warming. Yet, satellite rainfall data have not been exploited in any recent studies of linkage between tropical cyclones (TC) and global warming. This is mostly due to the large uncertainties associated with detection of long-term trend in satellite rainfall estimates over the ocean. This problem, as we demonstrate in this paper, can be alleviated by examining rainfall distribution, rather than rainfall total. This paper is the first to use research-quality, satellite-derived rainfall from TRMM and GPCP over the tropical oceans to estimate shift in rainfall distribution during the TC season, and its relationships with TCs, and sea surface temperature (SST) in the two major ocean basins, the northern Atlantic and the northern Pacific for 1979-2005. From the rainfall distribution, we derive the TC contributions to rainfall in various extreme rainfall categories as a function to time. Our results show a definitive trend indicating that TCs are contributing increasingly to heavier rain events, i.e., intense TC's are more frequent in the last 27 years. The TC contribution to top 5% heavy rain has nearly doubled in the last two decades in the North Atlantic, and has increased by about 10% in the North Pacific. The different rate of increase in TC contribution to heavy rain may be related to the different rates of different rate of expansion of the warm pool (SST >2S0 C) area in the two oceans.
Lau, K.-M.; Zhou, Y. P.; Wu, H.-T.
The influence of climate variability and global warming on the occurrence of tropical cyclones is a controversial issue. Existing historical databases on the subject are not fully reliable, but a more fundamental hindrance is the lack of basic understanding regarding the intrinsic nature of tropical-cyclone genesis and evolution. It is known that tropical cyclones involve more than a passive response to changing external forcing, but it is not clear which dynamic behavior best describes them. We present an approach based on the application of the power dissipation index, which constitutes an estimation of released energy, to individual tropical cyclones. A robust law emerges for the statistics of power dissipation index, valid in four different ocean basins and over long time periods. In addition to suggesting a description of the physics of tropical cyclones in terms of critical phenomena, the scaling law enables us to quantify their response to changing climatic conditions, with an increase in the largest power dissipation index values with sea surface temperature or the presence of El Niño phenomena, depending on the basin under consideration. In this way, we demonstrate that the recent upswing in North Atlantic hurricane activity does not involve tropical cyclones that are quantitatively different from those in other sustained high-activity periods before 1970. A. Corral, A. Osso, and J.E. Llebot, Nature Phys. 2010.
Corral, A.; Osso, A.; Llebot, J.
A review of progress over the past 50 years in observing and forecasting of tropical cyclones is presented. Tremendous progress has been made in track forecasting in the past 20 years with the improvement in numerical model guidance and the use of consensus forecasting, and this has contributed to a number of warning centers now issuing five-day track forecasts that are as accurate as three-day forecasts of a decade ago. Techniques are now available to specify the track forecast uncertainty for assessing the risk of a tropical cyclone. With the advent of five-day forecasts, a focus on improved understanding of formation has led to two field experiments. A recent advance has been in extended-range (5-30 days) forecasts of tropical cyclone events (formations and tracks) in the western North Pacific from the ECMWF 32-day ensemble predictions. This advance is a contribution to a goal of seamless forecasting from one day to a season for tropical cyclones. Little progress has been made in intensity forecasting, although the Hurricane Forecast Improvement Project in the United States and recent field experiments may offer some future advances. Some advances in forecasting tropical cyclone impacts such as storm surge, surface waves, and precipitation have been achieved. Future opportunities for continued advances are possible such that improved warnings can lead to reductions in losses of lives and minimizing damages from tropical cyclones.
Elsberry, Russell L.
The anomalously low oxygen isotope ratio (?18O values) of tropical cyclone rainfall can transfer proxy information about past tropical cyclone activity to stalagmite oxygen isotope records. Isotopically distinct stormwater reaches the growing crystal surface as a coherent slug, or after attenuation by mixing with isotopically normal vadose groundwaters. A high-resolution micromilled stalagmite stable isotope record from Belize shows that residual tropical cyclone water from Hurricane Mitch masked the oxygen isotope record of a major El Niño event. On decadal time scales, measured ?18O values are affected by changes in local tropical cyclone frequency. Despite the tropical cyclone masking effect, the structure of the "missing" El Niño event is preserved in the ATM-7 carbon isotope ratios (?13C values). In tropical cyclone-prone regions, the fidelity of stalagmite oxygen isotope proxy data to recording background climate signals is modulated by temporal variations in local tropical cyclone rainfall, and the sensitivity of individual stalagmites to tropical cyclone masking varies with hydrology. Speleothem ?13C values, unaffected by tropical cyclones, can preserve the underlying structure of climatic variability. For low-latitude speleothems with C-O isotope covariance, intervals in which the ?18O values are significantly lower than ?13C values predict may indicate periods when local tropical cyclone masking of isotope-derived precipitation records is enhanced by greater infiltration of tropical cyclone rain. The temporal structure in stalagmite C-O isotope covariance has paleoenvironmental meaning that may be revealed by exploring factors associated with independent behavior in each isotope ratio, respectively. Tropical cyclone masking presents new challenges to paleoclimatology and a source of hypotheses for paleotempestology.
Frappier, Amy Benoit
Tropical cyclone (TC) intensity change is governed by internal dynamics and environmental conditions. This study aims to gain a better understanding of the physical mechanisms responsible for TC intensity changes with a particular focus to those related to the vertical wind shear and the impact of sea spray on the hurricane boundary layer, by using high resolution, full physics numerical simulations. The coupled model consists of three components: the non-hydrostatic, 5th generation Pennsylvania State University-NCAR mesoscale model (MM5), the NOAA/NCEP WAVEWATCH III (WW3) ocean surface wave model, and the WHOI three-dimensional upper ocean circulation model (3DPWP). Sea spray parameterizations (SSP) were developed at NOAA/ESRL, modified by the author and introduced in uncoupled and coupled simulations. The 0.5 km grid resolution MM5 simulation of Hurricane Lili showed a rapid intensification associated with a contracting eyewall. Hurricane Lili weakened in a 5-10 m s-1 vertical wind shear environment. The simulated storm experienced wind shear direction normal to the storm motion, which produced a strong wavenumber one rainfall asymmetry in the downshear-left quadrant of the storm. The increasing vertical wind shear induced a vertical tilt of the vortex with a time lag of 5-6 hours after the wavenumber one rainfall asymmetry was first observed in the model simulation. Other factors controlling intensity and intensity change in tropical cyclones are the air-sea fluxes. Recent studies have shown that the momentum exchange coefficient levels off at high wind speed. However, the behavior of the exchange coefficient for enthalpy flux in high wind and the potential impact of sea spray on it is still uncertain. The current SSP are closely tied to wind speed and overestimate the mediated heat fluxes by sea spray in the hurricane boundary layer. As the sea spray generation depends on wind speed and the variable wave state, a new SSP based on the surface wave energy dissipation (WED) is introduced in the coupled model. In the coupled simulations, the WED is used to quantify the amount of wave breaking related to the generation of spray. The SSP coupled to the waves offers an improvement compared to the wind dependent SSP.
The potential for tropical cyclogenesis in a given ocean basin during its active season has been represented by genesis potential indices, empirically determined functions of large-scale environmental variables which influence tropical cyclone (TC) genesis. Here we examine the ability of some of today's atmospheric climate models, forced with historical observed SST over a multidecadal hindcast period, to reproduce observed values and patterns of one such genesis potential index (GP), as well as whether the GP in a given model is a good predictor of the number of TCs generated by that model. The effect of the horizontal resolution of a climate model on its GP is explored. The five analysed models are capable of reproducing the observed seasonal phasing of GP in a given region, but most of them them have a higher GP than observed. Each model has its own unique relationship between climatological GP and climatological TC number; a larger climatological GP in one model compared to others does not imply that that model has a larger climatological number of TCs. The differences among the models in the climatology of TC number thus appear to be related primarily to differences in the dynamics of the simulated storms themselves, rather than to differences in the simulated large-scale environment for genesis. The correlation of interannual anomalies in GP and number of TCs in a given basin also differs significantly from one model to the next. Experiments using the ECHAM5 model at different horizontal resolutions indicate that as resolution increases, model GP also tends to increase. Most of this increase is realized between T42 and T63.
Camargo, Suzana J.; Sobel, Adam H.; Barnston, Anthony G.; Emanuel, Kerry A.
Modeling of tropical cyclones in General Circulation Models (GCMs) has traditionally proved challenging. Tropical cyclones are significantly under-resolved, if not completely unresolved, at traditional GCM grid resolutions of 50-300 km. However, recent gains in computational resources and advances in GCM model design now allow for GCM simulations with grid spacings as small as 12-30 km. At these resolutions, models are able to more effectively capture key features of tropical cyclones. This talk surveys a novel variable-resolution mesh approach that allows for high spatial resolutions in areas of interest. The statically-nested, variable-mesh option has recently been introduced into the cubed-sphere Spectral Element (SE) dynamical core of the Community Atmosphere Model (CAM) which is under development at various U.S. Department of Energy laboratories and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). The talk gives an overview of the variable-resolution mesh approach, and evaluates its scientific properties. In particular, we will discuss the characteristics of tropical cyclone simulations in a variety of modeling frameworks. They include the representation of tropical cyclones in aqua-planet experiments, and showcase short-term and multi-decadal tropical cyclone simulations in CAM-SE when driven with prescribed sea surface temperatures. Special attention is paid to the characteristics of tropical cyclones in the grid transition regions, and the comparison of variable- and uniform-resolution experiments. It is shown that the variable-resolution CAM-SE model has the potential to become a future tool for regional climate assessments. In addition, we assess the performance of the CAM4 and CAM5 physical parameterization packages in variable-resolution aqua-planet simulations. In particular, we discuss the question whether current physics packages are scale-aware and whether or not the addition of increased resolution patches adds bias to key climate metrics such as rainfall and cloud fraction at the regional level.
Jablonowski, Christiane; Zarzycki, Colin
Temporally inconsistent and potentially unreliable global historical data hinder the detection of trends in tropical cyclone activity. This limits our confidence in evaluating proposed linkages between observed trends in tropical cyclones and in the environment. Here we mitigate this difficulty by focusing on a metric that is comparatively insensitive to past data uncertainty, and identify a pronounced poleward migration in the average latitude at which tropical cyclones have achieved their lifetime-maximum intensity over the past 30 years. The poleward trends are evident in the global historical data in both the Northern and the Southern hemispheres, with rates of 53 and 62 kilometres per decade, respectively, and are statistically significant. When considered together, the trends in each hemisphere depict a global-average migration of tropical cyclone activity away from the tropics at a rate of about one degree of latitude per decade, which lies within the range of estimates of the observed expansion of the tropics over the same period. The global migration remains evident and statistically significant under a formal data homogenization procedure, and is unlikely to be a data artefact. The migration away from the tropics is apparently linked to marked changes in the mean meridional structure of environmental vertical wind shear and potential intensity, and can plausibly be linked to tropical expansion, which is thought to have anthropogenic contributions. PMID:24828193
Kossin, James P; Emanuel, Kerry A; Vecchi, Gabriel A
The stable isotopic ratio of precipitation from tropical cyclones is very low compared to that of normal summer precipitation (Lawrence and Gedzelman, 1996). Tropical Storms Allison and Chantal made landfall in southeast Texas in the summer of 1989 and dumped large amounts of rain. Isotope ratios of surface waters measured at five different sites decreased markedly after the passage and
James R Lawrence
While Landsea et al. (1996) show that the number of intense Atlantic hurricanes is on the decrease, the trend of tropical cyclone activity over the western North Pacific is found to be just the opposite. For the period 1959 to 1994, the number of tropical storms and typhoons went through a period of decrease and then an increase, showing an
Johnny C. L. Chan; Jiu-en Shi
The standard method for estimating the intensity of tropical cyclones is based on satellite observations (Dvorak technique) and is utilized operationally by tropical analysis centers around the world. The technique relies on image pattern recognition along with analyst interpretation of empirically based rules regarding the vigor and organization of convection surrounding the storm center. While this method performs well enough
Christopher S. Velden; Timothy L. Olander; Raymond M. Zehr
Temporally inconsistent and potentially unreliable global historical data hinder the detection of trends in tropical cyclone activity. This limits our confidence in evaluating proposed linkages between observed trends in tropical cyclones and in the environment. Here we mitigate this difficulty by focusing on a metric that is comparatively insensitive to past data uncertainty, and identify a pronounced poleward migration in the average latitude at which tropical cyclones have achieved their lifetime-maximum intensity over the past 30 years. The poleward trends are evident in the global historical data in both the Northern and the Southern hemispheres, with rates of 53 and 62 kilometres per decade, respectively, and are statistically significant. When considered together, the trends in each hemisphere depict a global-average migration of tropical cyclone activity away from the tropics at a rate of about one degree of latitude per decade, which lies within the range of estimates of the observed expansion of the tropics over the same period. The global migration remains evident and statistically significant under a formal data homogenization procedure, and is unlikely to be a data artefact. The migration away from the tropics is apparently linked to marked changes in the mean meridional structure of environmental vertical wind shear and potential intensity, and can plausibly be linked to tropical expansion, which is thought to have anthropogenic contributions.
Kossin, James P.; Emanuel, Kerry A.; Vecchi, Gabriel A.
Overflights of a tropical cyclone during the Australian winter monsoon field experiment of the Stratosphere-Troposphere Exchange Project (STEP) show the presence of two mesoscale phenomena: a vertically propagating gravity wave with a horizontal wavelength of about 110 km and a feature with a horizontal scale comparable to that of the cyclone's entire cloud shield. The larger feature is fairly steady, though its physical interpretation is ambiguous. The 110-km gravity wave is transient, having maximum amplitude early in the flight and decreasing in amplitude thereafter. Its scale is comparable to that of 100-to 150-km-diameter cells of low satellite brightness temperatures within the overall cyclone cloud shield; these cells have lifetimes of 4.5 to 6 hrs. These cells correspond to regions of enhanced convection, higher cloud altitude, and upwardly displaced potential temperature surfaces. The temporal and spatial distribution of meteorological variables associated with the 110-km gravity wave can be simulated by a slowly moving transient forcing at the anvil top having an amplitude of 400-600 m, a lifetime of 4.5-6 hrs, and a size comparable to the cells of low brightness temperature.
Pfister, L.; Chan, K. R.; Bui, T. P.; Bowen, S.; Legg, M.; Gary, B.; Kelly, K.; Proffitt, M.; Starr, W.
Airborne Doppler radar collected observations of the stationary rainband complex of Hurricane Rita (2005) in exceptional detail. Dynamics of the stationary rainband complex play a large role in the evolution of the tropical cyclone's internal structure. The stratiform sector of the stationary rainband complex occurs on the downwind end of the complex. This stratiform rainband is a mesoscale feature consisting of nearly uniform precipitation and weak vertical velocities from collapsing convective cells. Upward transport and associated latent heating occur within the stratiform cloud layer in the form of rising radial outflow. Below the cloud layer, descending radial inflow was driven by horizontal buoyancy gradients, and thus horizontal vorticity generation, introduced by regions of sublimational and melting cooling. The organization of this transport initially is robust but fades downwind as the convection dissipates. This descending inflow advected higher angular momentum inward, which resulted in the development of a midlevel tangential jet and broadening of the tangential wind field. This circulation may have also contributed to ventilation of the eyewall as inflow of low-entropy air continued past the rainband in both the boundary layer and midlevels. Given the expanse of the stratiform rainband region, its thermodynamic and kinematic impacts likely help to modify the structure and intensity of the overall storm.
Didlake, A. C.; Houze, R.
The transfer of momentum between the atmosphere and the ocean is described in terms of the variation of wind speed with height and a drag coefficient that increases with sea surface roughness and wind speed. But direct measurements have only been available for weak winds; momentum transfer under extreme wind conditions has therefore been extrapolated from these field measurements. Global Positioning System sondes have been used since 1997 to measure the profiles of the strong winds in the marine boundary layer associated with tropical cyclones. Here we present an analysis of these data, which show a logarithmic increase in mean wind speed with height in the lowest 200m, maximum wind speed at 500m and a gradual weakening up to a height of 3km. By determining surface stress, roughness length and neutral stability drag coefficient, we find that surface momentum flux levels off as the wind speeds increase above hurricane force. This behaviour is contrary to surface flux parameterizations that are currently used in a variety of modelling applications, including hurricane risk assessment and prediction of storm motion, intensity, waves and storm surges.
Powell, Mark D.; Vickery, Peter J.; Reinhold, Timothy A.
Previous research has focused on predicting tropical cyclone (TC) size in near real time for individual storms. The purpose of this study is to develop models to explain interannual variations in mean Atlantic TC size, as measured by radius of maximum winds (RMAX) and radial extent of 34 knot winds (17 m s-1; R34), and to identify the nature of the relationship between various environmental and storm-related characteristics and TC size. Our analysis demonstrates that mean annual TC size varies systematically among the subbasins in the Atlantic and therefore it is inappropriate to develop a single model for TC size for the entire Atlantic basin. The most important variable for explaining variations in mean annual TC size is the maximum tangential wind (VMAX). VMAX is negatively related to RMAX in all subbasins and positively related to R34 in all subbasins except the Gulf of Mexico, suggesting that years with more intense TCs tend to have smaller (larger) than average RMAX (R34). Other factors, such as the relationships between sea surface temperature, sea level pressure, and Niño 3.4 suggest that environmental factors may play a secondary role in modulating mean annual TC size. Although there are some similarities with the models developed for predicting short-term changes in TC size, our results indicate that it is not appropriate to apply these models to explain variations in TC size at larger spatial scales and longer temporal scales.
Quiring, Steven; Schumacher, Andrea; Labosier, Chris; Zhu, Laiyin
A WRF based typhoon NWP system for operations, namely, the SMS-THRAPS (Shanghai Meteorological Service-Tropical cyclone High Resolution Analysis and Prediction System), has been developed in Shanghai Typhoon Institute (STI). It mainly consists of the Gridpoint Statistical Interpolation (GSI) data assimilation, a complex cloud analysis (CCS) package and the WRF3.5. A significant number of local observations such as SYNOP, SHIP, BUOY, METAR, AMDAR, CINRAD and AWS can be assimilated into the system. The model is configured with a mesh of 9 km horizontal resolution covering an area about 6000km×5000km and a moving nest of 7°×7° at 3 km grid distance. Numerical experiments for Super typhoon "MEGI" (2012) during landfall stage indicated that assimilation of local observations is very important for improving the accuracy of typhoon track, intensity forecasts, particularly, local rainfall distribution. The SMS-THRAPS performance in 2013 was evaluated and compared with ECWMF and JAPAN global numerical forecasts. The results show that SMS-THRAPS's track forecast is similar to ECWMF and better than JAPAN. SMS-THRAPS is the best in sea level pressure forecast at leading time < 42 hours, and worse than ECWMF, better than JAPAN at leading time > 42 hours. Key words: High resolution, Typhoon, Assimilation
Wang, Xiaofeng; Xu, Xiaolin; Chen, Baode
The transfer of momentum between the atmosphere and the ocean is described in terms of the variation of wind speed with height and a drag coefficient that increases with sea surface roughness and wind speed. But direct measurements have only been available for weak winds; momentum transfer under extreme wind conditions has therefore been extrapolated from these field measurements. Global Positioning System sondes have been used since 1997 to measure the profiles of the strong winds in the marine boundary layer associated with tropical cyclones. Here we present an analysis of these data, which show a logarithmic increase in mean wind speed with height in the lowest 200 m, maximum wind speed at 500 m and a gradual weakening up to a height of 3 km. By determining surface stress, roughness length and neutral stability drag coefficient, we find that surface momentum flux levels off as the wind speeds increase above hurricane force. This behaviour is contrary to surface flux parameterizations that are currently used in a variety of modelling applications, including hurricane risk assessment and prediction of storm motion, intensity, waves and storm surges. PMID:12646913
Powell, Mark D; Vickery, Peter J; Reinhold, Timothy A
Tropical cyclones (TC) are propelled mostly by realization of latent heat that is stored in vapor coming off warm sea surfaces. The heating occurs when the vapor condenses into cloud drops. Re-evaporation of the cloud water takes back the released heat, whereas precipitation of the water as rain fixates the heat in the air. Therefore, it is expected that TC intensities would be sensitive to precipitation forming processes that affect the amount and distribution of latent heat release. This has been simulated by numerical models, which showed that cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) aerosols weaken the storms apparently by slowing the conversion of cloud drops into precipitation. If so, we should expect that storm predictions that do not take this aerosol effect into account would over-predict TC intensities. Here we show that increased aerosols quantities in a TC periphery can explain about 8% of the forecast errors of the TC. Indeed, actual intensities of polluted TCs were found to be on average lower than their predicted values, providing supporting observational evidence to the hypothesis. It was also found that TC intensity might be more susceptible to the impacts of aerosols during their developing stages and less in the TC mature and dissipating stages.
Rosenfeld, Daniel; Clavner, Michal; Nirel, Ronit
Data from 17 tropical cyclones during the 1974 through 1979 hurricane seasons are used to investigate whether the high level winds far to the northwest, north and northeast of the hurricane center can be used to predict hurricane track recurvature. When the man 200-mb winds 1500 to 2000 km northwest and north of the storm center equal or exceed 20 m/s, 80 per cent of the storms recurved before traveling as much as 12 degrees of longitude farther west. The high winds were also used to predict change in direction of forward motion during the next 72 hours. The regression equations developed explain up to 41 per cent of the variance in future direction. In addition to the geostrophic winds used, winds were also obtained by tracking clouds with successive satellite imagery. The u-components of the satellite winds are highly correlated with the geostrophic winds at 200-mb and could probably be used instead of them when available. The v-components are less highly correlated.
Gentry, R. C.
This study investigates the possible effects of global warming on tropical cyclone (TC) activity. The study is conducted using the coupled ocean-atmosphere global climate model EC-Earth configured at a relatively high resolution (T159 with 62 vertical levels), which is integrated following the CMIP5 protocol. By considering the late twentieth century (1979-2009) in the historical simulation and the twenty-first century end (2070-2100) in the RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 scenarios, significant future annual mean frequency decreases are found globally and in both hemispheres, accompanied by significant mean lifetime decreases and significant intensity increases, the latter being found through several different measures (but with caveats). In addition, the relatively novel aspect of simulating TCs of the past (1900-1930) is studied to further assess the robustness of the climate change results. These results suggest that TCs in the early twentieth century were more frequent in the southern hemisphere and dissipated more energy in the southern hemisphere and the South Indian Ocean. Although some model biases are present and the coarse model resolution prevents intense TCs in being simulated, reasonable TC simulation skill for other metrics (e.g., TC genesis, frequency of occurrence) is found when validated against present day observations. Thus the model displays an acceptable ability to connect TC climatology with the larger scale circulation.
Rathmann, Nicholas Mossor; Yang, Shuting; Kaas, Eigil
Convection associated with an equatorial westerly wind burst was first observed late November during the strong El Nino of 1997 at approximately 2000 km southwest of the Hawaiian Islands. This region of convection lead to the formation of twin tropical cyclones, one in the southern hemisphere named Pam and the other in the northern hemisphere named Paka. During the first week in December, tropical cyclone Paka, the system of concern, reached tropical storm stage as it moved rapidly westward at relatively low latitudes. During the 10-12 of December, Paka rapidly developed into a typhoon.
Rodgers, Edward B.; Halverson, Jeff; Simpson, Joanne; Olson, William; Pierce, Harold
Tropical cyclones are major natural hazards, that regularly wreak havoc in many places of the world. They grow over the tropical oceans, where upper-layer warm waters constitute a main source of energy for their development. A necessary criterion for tropical cyclogenesis is that the sea surface temperature (SST) is higher than 26°C, with warm waters extending down at least 30 to 50m. However, the SST under a cyclone is affected by the strong winds that are responsible for upper-ocean mixing and SST cooling. The interactions of a tropical cyclone with the ocean are therefore critical to understand its dynamics. The purpose of this study is to investigate the role of the ocean, and more particulary, of a horizontal SST gradient on the rapid intensification and structure change of tropical cyclone Ivan (South-West Indian Ocean, 2007). The cyclone is simulated with the high-resolution (4-km) non-hydrostatic numerical model Meso-NH. Two simulations are computed: the first one uses a realistic SST field which is kept constant during the simulation, while the second one uses a SST which evolves during the simulation through a coupling with a 1D ocean model. This last simulation allows to simulate the SST cooling due to the cyclone winds. The results of these simulations show the impact of the SST gradient and cooling on the surface sensible and latent heat turbulent fluxes, and on the thermodynamical and dynamical structure of the cyclone Ivan. They help to understand the contribution of the ocean to the rapid intensification of this cyclone as it passed over the SST gradient.
Samson, G.; Barbary, D.; Plu, M.; Roux, F.; Giordani, H.
Tropical cyclones are one of the prominent weather systems that are generated over the tropical oceans. The cyclones that develop in the Southwest Indian Ocean (SWIO) usually travel west then southwest and finally recurve to southeast, generally before reaching the East African coast. However, it is shown in this study how SWIO-tropical cyclones/depressions can indirectly affect Ethiopian weather. Using correlation and composite analyses, interannual and intraseasonal rainfall variations in Ethiopia were compared with the frequency and time of occurrence of the tropical cyclones.Years showing the consecutive occurrence of several tropical depressions over the SWIO coincide with the drought years of Ethiopia. Reciprocally, years of abnormally low frequency of tropical cyclones are associated with heavy rainfall in Ethiopia. Belg rainfall (small rains, February-May) is much more influenced by the cyclonic activity than Kiremt rainfall (big rains, June-September), which occurs outside the cyclonic season of the Southeast Indian Ocean. On a daily basis, rainfall activity during the Belg period is significantly reduced when a tropical depression is observed in the SWIO, before picking up again a few days later. No systematic time-lag was found between the cyclone occurrence and the decrease in daily rainfall amounts. However, at interannual time-scales, a higher (lower) frequency of tropical depressions during the months of November-January tends to be followed by abnormally low (high) Belg rainfall. One of the mechanisms suggested to explain this seasonal persistence in the frequency of tropical depressions involves sea-surface temperatures in the SWIO, from where many of the depressions originate. The atmospheric processes accounting for the teleconnection between Ethiopia rainfall and tropical depressions were examined. Monthly anomalies of upper air winds for years showing frequent occurrence of tropical depressions proved significant not only over the SWIO, but also the Northern Hemisphere above Northeast Africa. In addition to a slightly enhanced cross-equatorial flow, diverting moisture advection towards the active centre of the system, much stronger than usual equatorial easterlies in the upper troposphere and a reduced southward excursion of the subtropical jet stream result in weaker convective activity over Ethiopia.
Shanko, Dula; Camberlin, Pierre
A wave-tracking algorithm is developed for northwestward-propagating waves that, on occasion, play a role in tropical cyclogenesis over the western oceans. To obtain the Lagrangian flow structure, the frame of reference is translated obliquely at the same propagation speed with the precursor disturbance. Trajectory analysis suggests that streamlines in the obliquely translated frame of reference can be used to approximate flow trajectories. The algorithm was applied to Super Typhoon Nakri (2008), Tropical Cyclone Erika (2009), and a few other examples. Diagnoses of meteorological analyses and satellite-derived moisture and precipitation fields show that the marsupial framework for tropical cyclogenesis in tropical easterly waves is relevant also for northwestward-propagating disturbances as are commonly observed in the tropical western Atlantic, the Gulf of Mexico, and the western North Pacific. Finally, it is suggested that analysis of the global model data and satellite observations in the marsupial framework can provide useful guidance on early tropical cyclone advisories.
Wang, Zhuo; Dunkerton, Timothy J.; Montgomery, Michael T.
The Fourth Convection and Moisture Experiment (CAMEX-4) provided a unique opportunity to observe the distributions and document the roles of important atmospheric factors that impact the development of the core asymmetries and core structural changes of tropical cyclones embedded in vertical wind shear. The state-of-the-art instruments flown on the NASA DC-8 and ER-2, in addition to those on the NOAA aircraft, provided a unique set of observations that documented the core structure throughout the depth of the tropical cyclone. These data have been used to conduct a combined observational and modeling study using a state-of-the-art, high- resolution mesoscale model to examine the role of the environmental vertical wind shear in producing tropical cyclone core asymmetries, and the effects on the structure and intensity of tropical cyclones.The scientific objectives of this study were to obtain in situ measurements that would allow documentation of the physical mechanisms that influence the development of the asymmetric convection and its effect on the core structure of the tropical cyclone.
Ritchie, Elizabeth A.
Infrared and microwave satellite imagery has steadily improved our ability to detect low to mid-level dry air at tropical latitudes and in the environments of tropical disturbances. However, understanding how this dry air affects the tropical atmosphere and tropical systems remains a difficult challenge. This presentation will discuss the impacts of intraseasonal low to mid-level dry air sources (e.g. the Saharan Air Layer and mid-latitude dry air intrusions) on the mean atmospheric state of the tropical North Atlantic and present new mean soundings for this region of the world. Discussion will also include recent research that is examining how the tropical cyclone diurnal cycle and associated diurnal pulses might provide a means for helping environmental dry air influence the storm environment. Special infrared GOES imagery reveals that the timing of these diurnal pulses in the TC environment are remarkably predictable in both time and space and suggests that these features steadily propagate away from the storm each day. As these diurnal pulses reach peripheral TC radii where low to mid-level dry air is place, substantial arc clouds (100s of km in length and lasting for several hours) have been observed forming along the leading edge of the pulse. It is hypothesized that the processes leading to the formation of arc cloud events can significantly impact an AEW or TC (particularly smaller, less developed systems). Specifically, the cool, dry air associated with the convectively-driven downdrafts that form arc clouds can help stabilize the middle to lower troposphere and may even act to stabilize the boundary layer. The arc clouds themselves may also act to disrupt the storm. As they race away from the convective core region, they create low-level outflow in the quadrant/semicircle of the AEW or TC in which they form. This outflow pattern counters the typical low-level inflow that is vital for TC formation and maintenance.
New evidence based on recent satellite data is presented to provide a rare opportunity in quantifying the long-speculated contribution of tropical cyclones to enhance ocean primary production. In July 2000, moderate cyclone Kai-Tak passed over the South China Sea (SCS). During its short 3-day stay, Kai-Tak triggered an average 30-fold increase in surface chlorophyll-a concentration. The estimated carbon fixation resulting
I. Lin; W. Timothy Liu; Chun-Chieh Wu; George T. F. Wong; Chuanmin Hu; Zhiqiang Chen; Wen-Der Liang; Yih Yang; Kon-Kee Liu
The twentieth century record of the annual count of Atlantic tropical cyclones (TCs) is analyzed to develop consistent estimates of its natural variability and secular change components. The analysis scheme permits development of multidecadal trends from natural variability alone, reducing aliasing of the variability and change components. The scheme is rooted in recurrent variability modes of the influential SST field and cognizant of Pacific-Atlantic links. The origin of increased cyclone counts in the early 1930s, suppressed counts in 1950-1960s, and the recent increase (since 1990s) is investigated using the count data set developed by Landsea et al. (J Clim 23: 2508-2519, 2010). We show that annual TC counts can be more closely reconstructed from Pacific and Atlantic SSTs than SST of the main development region (MDR) of Atlantic TCs; the former accounting for ~60% of the decadal count variance as opposed to ~30% for MDR SST. Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) dominates the reconstruction, accounting for ~55% of the natural decadal count variance, followed by the ENSO Non-Canonical and Pan-Pacific decadal variability contributions. We argue for an expansive view of the domain of influential SSTs—extending much beyond the MDR. The additional accounting of count variance by SSTs outside the MDR suggests a role for remotely-forced influences over the tropical Atlantic: the Pan-Pacific decadal mode is linked with decreased westerly wind shear (200-850 hPa) in its warm phase, much as the AMO impact itself. Non-canonical ENSO variability, in contrast, exerts little influence on decadal timescales. Interestingly, the secular but non-uniform warming of the oceans is linked with increased westerly shear, leading to off-setting dynamical and thermodynamical impacts on TC activity! The early-1930s increase in smoothed counts can be partially (~50%) reconstructed from SST natural variability. The 1950-1960s decrease, in contrast, could not be reconstructed at all, leading, deductively, to the hypothesis that it results from increased aerosols in this period. The early-1990s increase is shown to arise both from the abatement of count suppression maintained by SST natural variability and the increasing SST secular trend contribution; the abatement is related to the AMO phase-change in early-1990s. Were it not for this suppression, TC counts would have risen since the early 1970s itself, tracking the secular change contribution. The analysis suggests that when SST natural variability begins to significantly augment counts in the post-1990 period—some evidence for which is present in the preceding decade—Atlantic TC counts could increase rapidly on decadal timescales unless offset by SST-unrelated effects which apparently account for a non-trivial amount (~40%) of the decadal count variance.
Nigam, Sumant; Guan, Bin
To investigate whether tropical cyclones (TCs) are simulated correctly and verify forecast skill for TCs in numerical weather prediction models, it is necessary to derive trajectories of TCs from model output data and compare them with TC best track information. Because TC tracks are not model output variables, they can be diagnosed from basic variables as pressure, wind, and temperature of a model. A method to decide the TC center is to find out the center manually by looking at the weather charts. However, this manual method is not efficient and sometimes impossible to pinpoint the TC center. Furthermore, determining TC center manually from ensemble prediction results becomes increasingly inefficient. Thus an objective analysis of TC center and trajectory becomes an indispensable work. In this study, a TC tracker that has been developed (hereafter YSU TC tracker) for various model output format including netCDF used in WRF, binary data used in MM5, and GRIB used in GFS and ECMWF YOTC, with various projection including Lambert conformal and cylindrical equidistant (lat/lon) grid is applied for the model output to investigate the performance of the tracker. In detecting step, YSU TC tracker used mean sea level pressure, vorticity and geopotential height at 700 and 850hPa. In tracking step, a search area of next forecast time is determined with specified radius around TC center position of the next forecast time, guessed by using thresholds of cyclone movement such as direction, range of angle, and search radius based on TC speed between two consecutive analyses. The YSU TC tracker developed above was applied on the TCs occurred in 2008 in North Western Pacific. As a forecast data, 0.5° by 0.5° resolution NCEP GFS and ECMWF YOTC data on cylindrical equidistant grid were used. To investigate the performance of the YSU TC tracker, the YSU TC tracker was applied to the GFS data and the results are compared with those from the NCEP tracker. Average track positional errors from the best track data were similar for both trackers, implying that the YSU TC tracker performs as well as the NCEP tracker. To investigate the average forecast skill of the NCEP GFS and ECMWF YOTC data, the YSU TC tracker was applied on both data. The average track positional errors for both data were similar at the initial time, but the average track positional error of the NCEP GFS becomes larger than that of ECMWF YOTC data as the forecast time increases. More comprehensive results will be presented in the meeting.
Kim, J.; Kim, H.; Atmospheirc Predictability; Data Assimilation Laboratory
A probabilistic clustering method is used to describe various aspects of tropical cyclone (TC) tracks in the Southern Hemisphere, for the period 1969-2008. A total of 7 clusters are examined: three in the South Indian Ocean, three in the Australian Region, and one in the South Pacific Ocean. Large-scale environmental variables related to TC genesis in each cluster are explored, including sea surface temperature, low-level relative vorticity, deep-layer vertical wind shear, outgoing longwave radiation, El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO). Composite maps, constructed 2 days prior to genesis, show some of these to be significant precursors to TC formation—most prominently, westerly wind anomalies equatorward of the main development regions. Clusters are also evaluated with respect to their genesis location, seasonality, mean peak intensity, track duration, landfall location, and intensity at landfall. ENSO is found to play a significant role in modulating annual frequency and mean genesis location in three of the seven clusters (two in the South Indian Ocean and one in the Pacific). The ENSO-modulating effect on genesis frequency is caused primarily by changes in low-level zonal flow between the equator and 10°S, and associated relative vorticity changes in the main development regions. ENSO also has a significant effect on mean genesis location in three clusters, with TCs forming further equatorward (poleward) during El Niño (La Niña) in addition to large shifts in mean longitude. The MJO has a strong influence on TC genesis in all clusters, though the amount modulation is found to be sensitive to the definition of the MJO.
Ramsay, Hamish A.; Camargo, Suzana J.; Kim, Daehyun
We have conducted a study of the relationship between tropical cyclone (TC) and extreme rain events using GPCP and TRMM rainfall data ; and storm track data for July through November (JASON) in the North Atlantic (NAT) and the western North Pacific (WNP). Extreme rain events are defined in terms of percentile rainrate, and TC-gain by rainfall associated with a named TC. Results show that climatologically, 8% of rain events and 17% of the total rain amount in NAT are accounted by TCs, compared to 9% of rain events, and 21% of rain amount in WN.P. The fractional contribution of accumulated TC-rain to total rain, Omega, increases nearly linearly as a function of rainrate. Extending the analyses using GPCP pentad data for 1979-2005, and for the post-SSM/I period (1988-2005), we find that while there is no significant trend in the total JASON rainfall over NAT or WNP there is a positive significant trend in heavy rain over both basins for the 1979-2005 period, but not for the post-SSM/I period. Trend analyses of Omega for bout periods indicate that TCs have been feeding increasingly more to rainfall extremes in NAT, where the expansion of the warm pool area can explain slightly more than 50% of the change in observed trend in total TC rainfall. In. WNP, trend signals for Omega are mixed, and the loner term relationship between TC rain and warm pool area is strongly influenced by interannual and interdecadal variability.
Lau, K.-M.; Zhou, Y. P.; Wu, H.-T.
We have conducted a study of the relationship between tropical cyclone (TC) and extreme rain events using GPCP and TRMM rainfall data, and storm track data for July through November (JASON) in the North Atlantic (NAT) and the western North Pacific (WNP). Extreme rain events are defined in terms of percentile rainrate, and TC-rain by rainfall associated with a named TC. Results show that climatologically, 8% of rain events and 17% of the total rain amount in NAT are accounted by TCs, compared to 9% of rain events and 21% of rain amount in WNP. The fractional contribution of accumulated TC-rain to total rain, Omega, increases nearly linearly as a function of rainrate. Extending the analyses using GPCP pentad data for 1979-2005, and for the post-SSM/I period (1988-2005), we find that while there is no significant trend in the total JASON rainfall over NAT or WNP, there is a positive significant trend in heavy rain over both basins for the 1979-2005 period, but not for the post-SSM/I period. Trend analyses of Omega for both periods indicate that TCs have been feeding increasingly more to rainfall extremes in NAT, where the expansion of the warm pool area can explain slight more than 50% of the change in observed trend in total TC rainfall. In WNP, trend signals for Omega are mixed, and the long-term relationship between TC rain and warm pool areas are strongly influenced by interannual and interdecadal variability.
Lau, K.-M.; Zhou, Y. P.; Wu, H.-T.
Crocodylus acutus, a coastal species nesting in sand beaches, could be affected by increasing tropical cyclone frequency. We studied key characteristics of C. acutus reproductive ecology on Banco Chinchorro atoll from 2006 to 2009, including the impact of two tropical cyclones. Hurricanes increased canopy openness causing earlier nesting the following year. Crocodiles nested at the beginning of the wet season
Pierre Charruau; John B. Thorbjarnarson; Yann Hénaut
Heat waves in southeastern Australia in summer are commonly associated with slow-moving surface high-pressure systems, which result in warm northerly flow from the continental interior. The underlying dynamical pattern of heat waves in this region is associated with propagating Rossby waves, which grow in amplitude and eventually overturn, forming an upper level anticyclonic potential vorticity anomaly. The influence of tropical cyclones on the development of these anomalies is investigated here. Tropical cyclones may affect heat waves in this region indirectly, as the divergent outflow at upper levels perturbs the Rossby wave guide, leading to downstream development. However, the effect may also be direct, through the advection of anomalously anticyclonic potential vorticity from regions of deep convection in the vicinity of tropical cyclones into the upper level anticyclone. Our research shows that this direct reinforcement of the anticyclone is likely to be more important in the formation of severe heat waves in southeastern Australia.
Parker, Teresa J.; Berry, Gareth J.; Reeder, Michael J.
A major field program to study tropical cyclones in the Western Pacific was conducted as part of the THORPEX Pacific-Asian Regional Campaign (T- PARC). The tropical cyclone portion of the experiment was called the Tropical Cyclone Structure 2008 (TCS-08) ...
G. D. Emmitt R. Foster
The Tropical Cyclone Integrated Data Exchange and Analysis System (TC-IDEAS) is being jointly developed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) as part of NASA's Hurricane Science Research Program. The long-term goal is to create a comprehensive tropical cyclone database of satellite and airborne observations, in-situ measurements and model simulations containing parameters that pertain to the thermodynamic and microphysical structure of the storms; the air-sea interaction processes; and the large-scale environment.
Turk, J.; Chao, Y.; Haddad, Z.; Hristova-Veleva, S.; Knosp, B.; Lambrigtsen, B.; Li, P.; Licata, S.; Poulsen, W.; Su, H.; Tanelli, S.; Vane, D.; Vu, Q.; Goodman, H. M.; Blakeslee, R.; Conover, H.; Hall, J.; He, Y.; Regner, K.; Knapp, Ken
Surface temperatures and tropical cyclones have large impacts on economic production. Local cyclone energy dissipation reduces output in agriculture and tourism, while stimulating output in construction. High surface temperatures reduce output in several labor-intensive industries; a 1° C increase for two consecutive years results in production losses of ˜13%. The response is greatest during the hottest season and is non-linear, with high temperature days contributing the most to production losses. The structure of this response matches results from a large ergonomics literature, supporting the hypothesis that thermal stress reduces human performance, driving macroeconomic fluctuations. This large response of non-agricultural sectors suggests that current estimates underestimate the scale and scope of economic vulnerabilities to climate change. Responses of each industry to surface temperature, tropical cyclones and rainfall. Estimates represent the change of value-added in the industry in response to each atmospheric variables during the year of production (L=0) and the years prior (L?1). The responses to surface temperature are triangles, tropical cyclones are squares and rainfall are crosses. Estimates are grey if none of the annual responses are significant at the ? = 0.1 level. Whiskers indicate 95% confidence intervals. Tourism receipts displays the five years prior (L=1-5) because of the long response of that industry to cyclones. Agriculture per worker is also plotted as circles when estimated a second time excluding mainland countries from the sample. Units are: temperature- percent change in output per 0.33°C; cyclones- percent changes in output per 1 standard deviation of tropical cyclone energy; rainfall- percent change in output per 2 cm/month.
Hsiang, S. M.
A validation of passive microwave adjusted rainfall analyses of tropical cyclones using spaceborne radar data is presented. This effort is part of the one-dimensional plus four-dimensional variational (1D+4D-Var) rain assimilation project that is being carried out at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF). Brightness temperatures or surface rain rates from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite are processed through a 1D-Var retrieval to derive values of total column water vapor that can be ingested into the operational ECMWF 4D-Var. As an indirect validation, the precipitation fields produced at the end of the 1D-Var minimization process are converted into equivalent radar reflectivity at the frequency of the TRMM precipitation radar (13.8 GHz) and are compared with the observations averaged at model resolution. The averaging process is validated using a sophisticated downscaling/upscaling approach that is based on wavelet decomposition. The precipitation radar measurements are ideal for this validation exercise, being approximately collocated with but completely independent of the TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI) radiometer measurements. Qualitative and statistical comparisons between radar observations and retrievals from the TMI-derived surface rain rates and from TMI radiances are made using 17 well-documented tropical cyclone occurrences between January and April of 2003. Several statistical measures, such as bias, root-mean-square error, and Heidke skill score, are introduced to assess the 1D-Var skill as well as the model background skill in producing a realistic rain distribution. Results show a good degree of skill in the retrievals, especially near the surface and for medium heavy rain. The model background produces precipitation in the domain that is sometimes in excess with respect to the observations, and it often shows an error in the location of precipitation maxima. Differences between the two 1D-Var approaches are not large enough to make final conclusions regarding the advantages of one method over the other. Both methods are capable of redistributing the rain patterns according to the observations. It appears, however, that the brightness temperature approach is in general more effective in increasing precipitation amounts at moderate-to-high rainfall rates.
Benedetti, A.; Lopez, P.; Moreau, E.; Bauer, P.; Venugopal, V.
Tropical cyclones are some of the most disastrous and damaging of climate events, and estimates of their destructive potential abound in the natural and social sciences. Nonetheless, there have been few systematic estimates of cyclones' impact on children's health. This is concerning because cyclones leave in their wake a swath of asset losses and economic deprivation, both known to be strong drivers of poor health outcomes among children. In this paper we provide a household-level estimate of the effect of tropical cyclones on infant mortality in the Philippines, a country with one of the most active cyclone climatologies in the world. We reconstruct historical cyclones with detailed spatial and temporal resolution, allowing us to estimate the multi-year effects of cyclones on individuals living in specific locations. We combine the cyclone reconstruction with woman-level fertility and mortality data from four waves of the Filipino Demographic and Health Survey, providing birth histories for over 55,000 women. In multiple regressions that control for year and region fixed effects as well as intra-annual climate variation, we find that there is a pronounced and robust increase in female infant mortality among poor families in the 12-24 months after storms hit. The estimated mortality rate among this demographic subgroup is much larger than official mortality rates reported by the Filipino government immediately after storms, implying that much of a cyclone's human cost arrives well after the storm has passed. We find that high infant mortality rates are associated with declines in poor families' income and expenditures, including consumption of food and medical services, suggesting that the mechanism by which these deaths are effected may be economic deprivation. These results indicate that a major health and welfare impact of storms has been thus far overlooked, but may be easily prevented through appropriately targeted income support policies.
Anttila-Hughes, J. K.; Hsiang, S. M.
The impact of global climate change on the activity of tropical cyclone remains a controversial problem in a variety of ocean basins, especially for issues like whether long-term trend exists or not in the past decades. One of the reasons is attributed to the fact that tropical cyclone system is very complex, which is unable to be described by a single indicator or parameter, such as central pressure, radius of maximum wind, maximum gust wind speed, or duration. The potential destructiveness of a tropical cyclone is not only determined by its intensity (maximum gust wind speed), but also other parameters, especially rainfall and duration, after landing. Therefore how to integrate all the parameters together to reflect the compound hazard severity is of great importance, under the situation that some of these parameters are inter-dependent whilst others are not. In this paper, copula function is used to describe the dependence between tropical cyclone parameters. Firstly the probability distribution functions (PDF) of all tropical cyclone parameters are fitted separately with extreme value theory, using the best track dataset of tropical cyclone over northwest Pacific Ocean from 1949 to 2012 as input. The return periods of each cyclone by different parameters are then estimated, and it can be found that the return period of one cyclone may vary dramatically by using different cyclone parameters. Secondly, in order to estimate the compound severity, the joint probability distribution is fitted with copula function by using the previously fitted PDFs of each parameter as marginal probability functions. The return periods of each landing tropical cyclone are then estimated with the joint probability distribution to represent their compound severities. Lastly, the time series of the compound hazard severity are analyzed. It is found that the compound hazard severity, which integrates the size, intensity, duration together, can better represent the overall destructiveness of landing tropical cyclones over coastal areas.
Fang, Weihua; Ye, Yanting; Li, Ying
Tropical cyclone heat potential (TCHP) has been proposed as being important for hurricane and typhoon intensity. Here, a climatology of TCHP is developed for the Southwest Indian Ocean, a basin that experiences on average 11-12 tropical cyclones per year, many of which impact on Mauritius, Reunion and Madagascar, and Mozambique. SODA data and a regional ocean model forced with the GFDL-CORE v.2b reanalysis winds and heat fluxes are used to derive TCHP values during the 1948-2007 period. The results indicate that TCHP increases through the austral summer, peaking in March. Values of TCHP above 40 kJ cm-2, suggested as the minimum needed for tropical cyclone intensification, are still present in the northern Mozambique Channel in May. A time series of TCHP spatially averaged over the Seychelles-Chagos thermocline ridge (SCTR), an important area for tropical cyclones, is presented. The model time series, which agrees well with XBT-based observations (r = 0.82, p = 0.01), shows considerable interannual variability overlaying an upward tendency that matches with an observed increase in severe tropical cyclone days in the Southwest Indian Ocean. Although an increase in severe storms is seen during 1997-2007, the increasing TCHP tendency time series after 1997 coincides with a decrease in total cyclone numbers, a mismatch that is ascribed to increased atmospheric anticyclonicity over the basin. Seasons of increased (decreased) TCHP over the SCTR appear to be associated with dry (wet) conditions over certain areas of southern and East Africa and are linked with changes in zonal wind and vertical motion in the midtroposphere.
Malan, N.; Reason, C. J. C.; Loveday, B. R.
On February 8, 1993, the NASA DC-8 aircraft profiled from 10,000 to 37,000 feet (3.1-11.3 km) pressure altitude in a stratified section of tropical cyclone "Oliver" over the Coral Sea northeast of Australia. Size, shape and phase of cloud and precipitation particles were measured with a 2-D Greyscale probe. Cloud/precipitation particles changed from liquid to ice as soon as the freezing level was reached near 17,000 feet (5.2 km) pressure altitude. The cloud was completely glaciated at -5 C. There was no correlation between ice particle habit and ambient temperature. In the liquid phase, the precipitation-cloud drop concentration was 4.0 x 10(exp 3)/cu m, the geometric mean diameter D(sub g) = 0.5-0.7 mm, and the liquid water content 0.7-1.9 g m(exp-3). The largest particles anywhere in the cloud, dominated by fused dendrites at concentrations similar to that of raindrops (2.5 x 10(exp 3) m(exp -3)) but a higher condensed water content(5.4 g/cu m estimated) were found in the mixed phase; condensed water is removed very effectively from the mixed layer due to high settling velocities of the large mixed particles. The highest number concentration (4.9 x 10(exp 4)/cu m, smallest size (D(sub g) = 0.3-0.4 mm), largest surface area (up to 2.6 x 10 (exp 2) sq cm/cu m at 0.4- 1.0 g/cu m of condensate) existed in the ice phase at the coldest temperature (- 40 C) at 35,000 feet ( 10.7 km). Each cloud contained aerosol (haze particles) in addition to cloud particles. The aerosol total surface area exceeded that of the cirrus particles at the coldest temperature. Thus, aerosols must play a significant role in the upscattering of solar radiation. Light extinction (6.2/km) and backscatter (0.8/sr/km) was highest in the coldest portion of the cirrus cloud at the highest altitude.
Pueschel, R. F.; Allen, D. A.; Black, C.; Faisant, S.; Ferry, G. V.; Howard, S. D.; Livingston, J. M.; Redemann, J.; Sorenson, C. E.; Verma, S.
The Fifth Prospectus Development Team of the U.S. Weather Research Program was charged to identify and delineate emerging research opportunities relevant to the prediction of local weather, flooding, and coastal ocean currents associated with landfalling U.S. hurricanes specifically, and tropical cyclones in general. Central to this theme are basic and applied research topics, including rapid intensity change, initialization of and parameterization in dynamical models, coupling of atmospheric and oceanic models, quantitative use of satellite information, and mobile observing strategies to acquire observations to evaluate and validate predictive models. To improve the necessary understanding of physical processes and provide the initial conditions for realistic predictions, a focused, comprehensive mobile observing system in a translating storm-coordinate system is required. Given the development of proven instrumentation and improvement of existing systems, three-dimensional atmospheric and oceanic datasets need to be acquired whenever major hurricanes threaten the United States. The spatial context of these focused three-dimensional datasets over the storm scales is provided by satellites, aircraft, expendable probes released from aircraft, and coastal (both fixed and mobile), moored, and drifting surface platforms. To take full advantage of these new observations, techniques need to be developed to objectively analyze these observations, and initialize models aimed at improving prediction of hurricane track and intensity from global-scale to mesoscale dynamical models. Multinested models allow prediction of all scales from the global, which determine long- term hurricane motion to the convective scale, which affect intensity. Development of an integrated analysis and model forecast system optimizing the use of three-dimensional observations and providing the necessary forecast skill on all relevant spatial scales is required. Detailed diagnostic analyses of these datasets will lead to improved understanding of the physical processes of hurricane motion, intensity change, the atmospheric and oceanic boundary layers, and the air- sea coupling mechanisms. The ultimate aim of this effort is the construction of real-time analyses of storm surge, winds, and rain, prior to and during landfall, to improve warnings and provide local officials with the comprehensive information required for recovery efforts in the hardest hit areas as quickly as possible.
Marks, F. D.; Shay, L. K.; Barnes, G.; Black, P.; Demaria, M.; McCaul, B.; Mounari, J.; Montgomery, M.; Powell, M.; Smith, J. D.; Tuleya, B.; Tripoli, G.; Xie, L.; Zehr, R.
Some of the largest unit discharge flood peaks in the stream gaging records of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) have occurred in Puerto Rico. Many of these flood peaks are associated with tropical cyclones. Hurricane Georges, which passed directly over the island on 21-22 September 1998, produced record flood peaks at numerous USGS stations in Puerto Rico. The hydrology and hydrometeorology of extreme flood response in Puerto Rico are examined through analyses of rainfall, based on Weather Surveillance Radar - 1988 Doppler (WSR-88D) radar reflectivity observations and USGS rain gage observations and discharge from USGS stream gaging stations. Peak rainfall accumulations of more than 700 mm occurred in the central mountain region of the island. The largest unit discharge flood peaks, however, were located in the eastern portion of the island in areas with smaller storm total rainfall accumulations but markedly larger rainfall rates at 5-60 min timescale. Orographic precipitation mechanisms played an important role in rainfall distribution over the island of Puerto Rico. Amplification of rainfall accumulations was associated with areas of upslope motion. Elevated low-level cloud water content in regions of upslope motion played an important role in the maximum rainfall accumulations in the central mountain region of Puerto Rico. The largest unit discharge flood peaks, however, were produced by a decaying eye wall mesovortex, which resulted in a 30-45 min period of extreme rainfall rates over the eastern portion of the island. This storm element was responsible for the record flood peak of the Rio Grande de Lo??iza. The role of terrain in development and evolution of the eye wall mesovortex is unclear but is of fundamental importance for assessing extreme flood response from the storm. Hydrologic response is examined through analyses of rainfall and discharge from five pairs of drainage basins, extending from east to west over the island. These analyses point to the importance of short-term rainfall rates for extreme flood response. The hydrologic response of Puerto Rico is compared with two other extreme flood environments, the central Appalachians and Edwards Plateau of Texas. These analyses suggest that the high rainfall environment of Puerto Rico is linked to the development of a hydraulically efficient drainage system. Copyright 2005 by the American Geophysical Union.
Smith, J. A.; Sturdevant-Rees, P.; Baeck, M. L.; Larsen, M. C.
Numerical experiments are performed with the fifth-generation Pennsylvania State University National Center for Atmospheric Research Mesoscale Model (MM5) to study the effects of surface-moisture flux and friction over land on the movement of tropical cyclones (TCs). On an f plane, the TCs are initially placed 150 km due east of a north south-oriented coastline in an atmosphere at rest. It is found that a TC could drift toward land when the roughness length is 0.5 m over land, with an average drift speed of 1 m s-1. Friction, but not surface-moisture flux over land, is apparently essential for the movement toward land. The friction-induced asymmetry in the large-scale flow is the primary mechanism responsible for causing the TC drift. The mechanism responsible for the development of the large-scale asymmetric flow over the lower to midtroposphere (900 600 hPa) appears to be the creation of asymmetric vorticity by the divergence term in the vorticity equation. Horizontal advection then rotates the asymmetric vorticity to give a northeasterly flow in the TC periphery (500 1000 km from the TC center). The flow near the TC center has a more northerly component because of the stronger rotation by the tangential wind of the TC at inner radii. However, the TC does not move with the large-scale asymmetric flow. Potential vorticity budget calculations indicate that while the horizontal advection term is basically due to the effect of advection by the large-scale asymmetric flow, the diabatic heating and vertical advection terms have to be considered in determining the vortex landward drift, because of the strong asymmetry in vertical motion. Two mechanisms could induce the asymmetry in vertical motion and cause a deviation of the TC track from the horizontal asymmetric flow. First, the large-scale asymmetric flow in the upper troposphere differs from that in the lower troposphere, both in magnitude and direction, which results in a vertical shear that could force the asymmetry. A vertical tilt of the vortex axis is also found that is consistent with the direction of shear and also the asymmetry in rainfall and vertical motion. Second, asymmetric boundary layer convergence that results from the internal boundary layer could also force an asymmetry in vertical motion.
Wong, Martin L. M.; Chan, Johnny C. L.
Tropical Cyclones are associated with intense winds, rain, storm surges and variations in cloud patterns. Accurate forecasting of both track and intensity of a tropical cyclone requires thorough understanding of meteorological processes. In this study, we evaluate the relationships between sea-surface temperature (SST) and meteorological parameters over Bay of Bengal region, India using microwave satellite remote sensing data. Most of the cyclones in this region occur during the pre-monsoon period from April-June and are associated with SST greater than 260 C. We have particularly analyzed the data from two recent cyclonic events, Mala that occurred during 24th April 2006 and Tropical Cyclone 01B that occurred during 11th May, 2003. Mala was a very severe cyclonic storm equal to category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. We used two different remote sensing data sets, the Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission Sea Surface Temperature (SST) and the NASA QuikSCAT ocean surface wind vectors to characterize the ocean-atmosphere interactions in cold SST regions formed in the trail of the above two cyclone events. Results from the satellite data analysis suggested systematic weakening of wind speed over the cold patch, along the trail of the cyclone. A cooling of around 4 to 5 degrees was observed associated with the passage of cyclone Mala. Wind speed gradually increased from 2 to 9 m/s from the center to the boundary of the cold patch and showed good correlation with SST (r=0.97). These observations have been validated with another cyclone data (Tropical Cyclone 01B) over the Bay of Bengal region that occurred during May 2003. Our results were consistent with the Wallace hypothesis that SST modulates the surface winds via stability. Mechanisms governing SST and wind speed have been highlighted utilizing data from two different tropical cyclone events and remote sensing datasets.
Kvs, Badarinath; Kharol, Shailesh Kumar; Dileep, K. P.
Low-level barotropic dynamics may help to explain the modulation of eastern and western North Pacific tropical cyclones by the Madden-Julian oscillation (MJO) during Northern Hemisphere summer. The MJO is characterized by alternating periods of westerly and easterly 850-mb zonal wind anomalies across the tropical Pacific Ocean. When MJO 850-mb wind anomalies are westerly, small-scale, slow-moving eddies grow through barotropic eddy
Eric D. Maloney; Dennis L. Hartmann
Tropical cyclones have been hypothesized to influence climate by pumping heat into the ocean, but a direct measure of this warming effect is still lacking. We quantified cyclone-induced ocean warming by directly monitoring the thermal expansion of water in the wake of cyclones, using satellite-based sea surface height data that provide a unique way of tracking the changes in ocean heat content on seasonal and longer timescales. We find that the long-term effect of cyclones is to warm the ocean at a rate of 0.32 ± 0.15 PW between 1993 and 2009, i.e., ?23 times more efficiently per unit area than the background equatorial warming, making cyclones potentially important modulators of the climate by affecting heat transport in the ocean–atmosphere system. Furthermore, our analysis reveals that the rate of warming increases with cyclone intensity. This, together with a predicted shift in the distribution of cyclones toward higher intensities as climate warms, suggests the ocean will get even warmer, possibly leading to a positive feedback.
Mei, Wei; Primeau, Francois; McWilliams, James C.; Pasquero, Claudia
The means for locating and extracting GEOS-3 altimeter data acquired for the analysis of specific hurricanes, typhoons, and other tropical cyclones are presented. These data are also expected to be extremely useful in the analysis of the behavior of the altimeter instrument in the presence of severe meteorological disturbances as well as provide a data base which can be useful in the resolution of apparently anomalous geoid or sea surface characteristics. Geographic locations of 1976 tropical cyclones were correlated with the closest approaching orbits of the GEOS-3 satellite and its radar altimeter. The cyclone locations and altimeter data were correlated for the 1976 season. The area of coverage includes the northern hemisphere. This document is a sequel to NASA TM-X-69364 which covered the majority of the 1975 season.
Stanley, H. R.; Chan, B.; Givens, C.; Taylor, R.
The long-term goal of this partnership is to establish an operational forecasting system of the wind field and resulting waves and surge impacting the coastline during the approach and landfall of tropical cyclones. The results of this forecasting system ...
D. N. Slinn H. C. Graber M. A. Donelan M. G. Brown S. C. Hagen
All large (>400 n mi at 96 h, >500 n mi at 120 h) Navy Operational Global Atmospheric Prediction System (NOGAPS) and U.S. Navy version of the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory Model (GFDN) tropical cyclone track forecast errors in the western North Pa...
R. M. Kehoe
Satellite observations and numerical model results have been used to study the relationship between upper-tropospheric forcing and the oscillation of convection of tropical cyclones Florence (1988) and Irene (1981) during their mature stage over open warm oceans (SST greater than or equal to 26 C). It is suggested that the initiation and maintenance of intense convective outbreaks in tropical cyclones are related to the channeling and strengthening of their outflow by upper-tropospheric troughs. It is possible to enhance the convection in response to the outflow jet-induced import of eddy relative angular momentum and ascending motion associated with the thermally direct circulation. Both Florence and Irene are found to intensify after the onset of these convective episodes. It is also suggested that the cessation in the convection of the two tropical cyclones occurs when the upper-tropospheric troughs move near or over the tropical cyclones, resulting in the weakening of their outflow and the entrainment of dry upper-tropospheric air into their inner core.
Rodgers, Edward B.; Chang, Simon W.; Stout, John; Steranka, Joseph; Shi, Jainn-Jong
Multidecadal variability of Atlantic tropical cyclone activity is observed to relate to the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), a mode manifesting primarily in sea surface temperature (SST) in the high latitudes of the North Atlantic. In the low latitudes of the North Atlantic, a large body of warm water called the Atlantic Warm Pool (AWP) comprises the Gulf of Mexico, the
Chunzai Wang; Sang-Ki Lee; David B. Enfield
The effects that El Nino and La Nina events exert on western North Pacific tropical cyclones, and the physical mechanisms involved were examined using best track data from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center and NCEP reanalysis data. During El Nino and La Ni...
B. W. Ford
Geostationary infrared (IR) satellite data are used to provide estimates of the symmetric and total low-level wind fields in tropical cyclones, constructed from estimations of an azimuthally averaged radius of maximum wind (RMAX), a symmetric tangential wind speed at a radius of 182 km (V182), a storm motion vector, and the maximum intensity (VMAX). The algorithm is derived using geostationary
Kimberly J. Mueller; Mark DeMaria; John Knaff; James P. Kossin; Thomas H. Vonder Haar
A nonhydrostatic numerical simulation of a tropical cyclone is performed with explicit representation of cumulus on a meso-beta scale grid and for a brief period on a meso-gamma scale grid. Individual cumulus plumes are represented by a combination of explicit resolution and a 1.5 level closure predicting turbulent kinetic energy (TKE).
Tripoli, G. J.
The statistics of North Atlantic basin tropical cyclones for the interval 1945-2007 are examined and estimates are given for the frequencies of occurrence of the number of tropical cyclones, number of hurricanes, number of major hurricanes, number of category 4/5 hurricanes, and number of U.S. land-falling hurricanes for the 2008 hurricane season. Also examined are the variations of peak wind speed, average peak wind speed per storm, lowest pressure, average lowest pressure per storm, recurrence rate and duration of extreme events (El Nino and La Nina), the variation of 10-yr moving averages of parametric first differences, and the association of decadal averages of frequencies of occurrence of North Atlantic basin tropical cyclones against decadal averages of Armagh Observatory, Northern Ireland, annual mean temperature (found to be extremely important for number of tropical cyclones and number of hurricanes). Because the 2008 hurricane season seems destined to be one that is non-El Nino-related and is a post-1995 season, estimates of the frequencies of occurrence for the various subsets of storms should be above long-term averages.
Wilson, Robert M.
An empirical relationship between climatological sea surface temperature (SST) and the maximum intensity of tropical cyclones in the North Atlantic basin is developed from a 31-year sample (1962-1992). This relationship is compared with the theoretical results described by Emanuel. The theoretical results are in agreement with the observations over a wide range of SST, provided that the tropopause temperature is
Mark Demaria; John Kaplan
Tropical cyclone track prediction is steadily improving, while storm intensity prediction has seen little progress in the last quarter century. Important physics are not yet well understood and implemented in tropical cyclone forecast models. Missing and unresolved physics, especially at the air-sea interface, are among the factors limiting storm predictions. In a laboratory experiment and coordinated numerical simulation, conducted in this work, the microstructure of the air-water interface under hurricane force wind resembled Kelvin-Helmholtz shear instability between fluids with a large density difference. Supported by these observations, we bring forth the concept that the resulting two-phase environment suppresses short gravity-capillary waves and alters the aerodynamic properties of the sea surface. The unified wave-form and two-phase parameterization model shows the well-known increase of the drag coefficient (Cd) with wind speed, up to ~30?ms?1. Around 60?ms?1, the new parameterization predicts a local peak of Ck/Cd, under constant enthalpy exchange coefficient Ck. This peak may explain rapid intensification of some storms to major tropical cyclones and the previously reported local peak of lifetime maximum intensity (bimodal distribution) in the best-track records. The bimodal distribution of maximum lifetime intensity, however, can also be explained by environmental parameters of tropical cyclones alone.
Soloviev, Alexander V.; Lukas, Roger; Donelan, Mark A.; Haus, Brian K.; Ginis, Isaac
Tropical cyclone intensity is shown to be proportional to the difference between the moist static energy of the eyewall and that of the undisturbed environment, and to the difference between the absolute temperatures of the boundary layer and of the storm top. Measurements of the radial gradient of cloud top altitude and temperature from the eyewall to the outer region
Valerie Wong; Kerry Emanuel
Summary Current understanding of tropical cyclone (TC) structure and intensity changes has been reviewed in this article. Recent studies in this area tend to focus on two issues: (1) what factors determine the maximum potential intensity (MPI) that a TC can achieve given the thermodynamic state of the atmosphere and the ocean? and (2) what factors prevent the TCs from
Y. Wang; C.-C. Wu
Tropical cyclone track prediction is steadily improving, while storm intensity prediction has seen little progress in the last quarter century. Important physics are not yet well understood and implemented in tropical cyclone forecast models. Missing and unresolved physics, especially at the air-sea interface, are among the factors limiting storm predictions. In a laboratory experiment and coordinated numerical simulation, conducted in this work, the microstructure of the air-water interface under hurricane force wind resembled Kelvin-Helmholtz shear instability between fluids with a large density difference. Supported by these observations, we bring forth the concept that the resulting two-phase environment suppresses short gravity-capillary waves and alters the aerodynamic properties of the sea surface. The unified wave-form and two-phase parameterization model shows the well-known increase of the drag coefficient (Cd) with wind speed, up to ~30?ms(-1). Around 60?ms(-1), the new parameterization predicts a local peak of Ck/Cd, under constant enthalpy exchange coefficient Ck. This peak may explain rapid intensification of some storms to major tropical cyclones and the previously reported local peak of lifetime maximum intensity (bimodal distribution) in the best-track records. The bimodal distribution of maximum lifetime intensity, however, can also be explained by environmental parameters of tropical cyclones alone. PMID:24930493
Soloviev, Alexander V; Lukas, Roger; Donelan, Mark A; Haus, Brian K; Ginis, Isaac
An automatic method for intensity estimation of tropical cyclones using multi-channel observations from TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI) is developed using a non-linear data fitting approach called Genetic Algorithm. The intensity estimation technique SIEGA (Storm Intensity Estimation using Genetic Algorithm) uses only 9 simple statistical variables based on TMI observations and does not require any subjective input except the center of
C. M. Kishtawal; Falguni Patadia; Randhir Singh; Sujit Basu; M. S. Narayanan; P. C. Joshi
As part of the National Weather Service (NWS) Modernization and Restructuring Program, WSR-88D (NE- XRAD) Doppler radar installation has been completed at each Weather Service Office in Florida. Recently, this powerful new tool provided unique opportunities for Jacksonville, Tampa Bay, and Melbourne NEXRAD Weather Service Office personnel to investigate tropical cyclone (TC) rainbands for evidence of tornadogenesis. This study provides
Scott M. Spratt; David W. Sharp; Pat Welsh; Al Sandrik; Frank Alsheimer; Charlie Paxton
The influence of hurricane-ocean coupling on intensity and track of tropical cyclones (TCs) is investigated through idealized numerical experiments using a coupled hurricane-ocean model. The focus is placed on how air-sea interaction affects TC tracks and intensity. It is found that the symmetric sea surface temperature (SST) cooling is primarily responsible for the TC weakening in the coupled experiments because the induced asymmetric circulation associated with the asymmetric SST anomalies is weak and shallow. The track difference between the coupled and fixed SST experiments is generally small because of the competing processes. One is associated with the modified TC asymmetries. The asymmetric SST anomalies - weaken the surface fluxes in the rear and enhance the fluxes in the front. As a result, the enhanced diabatic heating is located on the southern side for a westward-moving TC, tending to shift the TC southward. The symmetric SST anomalies weakens the TC intensity and thus the dymmetrization process, leading to more prominent TC asymmetries. The other is associated with the weakening of the beta drift resulting from the weakening of the TC outer strength. In the coupled experiment, the weakening of the beta drift leads to a more northward shift. By adjusting the vortex outer strength of the initial vortices, the beta drift can vary while the effect of air-sea interaction changes little. Two types of track differences simulated in the previous numerical studies are obtained.
Wu, Liguang; Wang, Bin; Braun, Scott A.
The assessment of changes in tropical cyclone activity within the context of anthropogenically influenced climate change has been limited by the short temporal resolution of the instrumental tropical cyclone record (less than 50 years). Furthermore, controversy exists regarding the robustness of the observational record, especially before 1990. Here we show, on the basis of a new tropical cyclone activity index (CAI), that the present low levels of storm activity on the mid west and northeast coasts of Australia are unprecedented over the past 550 to 1,500 years. The CAI allows for a direct comparison between the modern instrumental record and long-term palaeotempest (prehistoric tropical cyclone) records derived from the (18)O/(16)O ratio of seasonally accreting carbonate layers of actively growing stalagmites. Our results reveal a repeated multicentennial cycle of tropical cyclone activity, the most recent of which commenced around AD?1700. The present cycle includes a sharp decrease in activity after 1960 in Western Australia. This is in contrast to the increasing frequency and destructiveness of Northern Hemisphere tropical cyclones since 1970 in the Atlantic Ocean and the western North Pacific Ocean. Other studies project a decrease in the frequency of tropical cyclones towards the end of the twenty-first century in the southwest Pacific, southern Indian and Australian regions. Our results, although based on a limited record, suggest that this may be occurring much earlier than expected. PMID:24476890
Haig, Jordahna; Nott, Jonathan; Reichart, Gert-Jan
Recent research on the Mississippi margin indicates notable seasonal variation in seabed dynamics. During years with minimal tropical-system activity, sediments initially deposited from late spring to early fall are remobilized by wind-driven currents and wave energy during extra-tropical weather systems in the winter. This research reveals the profound significance of tropical cyclones on Louisiana Shelf sedimentation. The amount of material delivered to and advected across the shelf by recent tropical cyclones is considerably larger than that related to winter storm systems. In Fall 2004, the river-dominated shelf of Louisiana was impacted by three tropical systems in less than a month, including Hurricane Ivan. Ivan, with maximum sustained winds in excess of 74 m s -1 (144 knots) and a minimum measured central pressure of 910 mbar, was the eighth most intense Atlantic hurricane on record at the time. In order to assess the impact these tropical systems had on the continental margin west of the Mississippi delta, seabed samples were collected from box cores in October 2004 and analyzed for particle-reactive radionuclides 234Th, 7Be, and 210Pb. Radiochemical data and observations from X-radiographs indicate event-driven sediment deposits ranged from 4 to 30 cm on the shelf and 2-6 cm in the Mississippi Canyon. These deposits exhibit distinct radiochemical signatures and differ visually and texturally from the underlying sediment. The well-developed physical stratification and graded nature of the deposits observed in core X-radiographs suggests that the sediment could have been deposited from sediment-gravity flows. Inventories of 7Be and 7Be/ 234Th xs ratios reveal this series of cyclones transported considerably more material to the outer shelf and slope than periods of minimal tropical-system activity. When compared to seasonal depositional rates created by winter storms, tropical-cyclone-related event deposits on the middle and outer shelf are up to an order of magnitude greater in thickness. The number and thickness of these event deposits decrease with distance from the delta and suggest that only the most severe tropical systems are likely capable of redistributing significant quantities of sediment to more distal portions of the shelf and slope. These severe-event-driven deposits may account for as much as 75% of the sediment burial budget on decadal time scales within Mississippi Canyon. Higher than average tropical cyclone activity, predicted by the National Hurricane Center over the next decade, may be the major mechanism controlling sediment transport and deposition on the Mississippi River continental shelf and in Mississippi Canyon.
Dail, Michael. B.; Reide Corbett, D.; Walsh, J. P.
Theory and modelling predict that hurricane intensity should increase with increasing global mean temperatures, but work on the detection of trends in hurricane activity has focused mostly on their frequency and shows no trend. Here I define an index of the potential destructiveness of hurricanes based on the total dissipation of power, integrated over the lifetime of the cyclone, and
Remotely sensed data are combined with shipboard measurements to investigate biogeochemical changes caused by a moderate tropical cyclone in the central Arabian Sea in December 1998. The sea surface temperature decreased by ˜4°C, whereas surface nitrate and chlorophyll concentrations increased by >5 ?M and up to 4 mg m-3, respectively, over a large area affected by the cyclone. Nutrient enrichment in the surface layer of the cyclone-affected zone is estimated to have supported a new production of ˜4.2 Tg C, approximately 5% of the annual organic carbon export to the deep sea (beyond the continental margin) for the entire Arabian Sea. Entrainment of nitrous oxide from the thermocline led to more than doubling of its concentration in the mixed layer. The cyclone also resulted in an increase in nitrous oxide inventory within the oxygen minimum zone. Our results imply that, should there be an increase in the frequency and intensity of tropical cyclones as a result of global warming, as projected in some recent reports, carbon production and respiration, and redox processes within the oxygen minimum zones, such as the production of nitrous oxide through nitrification/denitrification, and of molecular nitrogen through denitrification/anaerobic ammonium oxidation, may be significantly impacted.
Naik, Hema; Naqvi, S. W. A.; Suresh, T.; Narvekar, P. V.
Inland flooding from tropical cyclones can be a significant factor in storm-related deaths in the United States and other countries. Information collected during NASA tropical cyclone field studies suggest surface water and flooding induced by tropical cyclone precipitation can be detected and therefore monitored using passive microwave airborne radiometers. In particular, the 10.7 GHz frequency of the NASA Advanced Microwave Precipitation Radiometer (AMPR) flown on the NASA ER-2 has demonstrated high resolution detection of anomalous surface water and flooding in numerous situations. This presentation will highlight the analysis of three cases utilizing primarily satellite and airborne radiometer data. Radiometer data from the 1998 Third Convection and Moisture Experiment (CAMEX-3) are utilized to detect surface water during landfalling Hurricane Georges in both the Dominican Republic and Louisiana. A third case is landfalling Tropical Storm Gert in Eastern Mexico during the Tropical Cloud Systems and Processes (TCSP) experiment in 2005. AMPR data are compared to topographic data and vegetation indices to evaluate the significance of the surface water signature visible in the 10.7 GHz information. The results of this study suggest the benefit of an aircraft 10 GHz radiometer to provide real-time observations of surface water conditions as part of a multi-sensor flood monitoring network.
Hood, Robbie E.; Radley, C.D.; LaFontaine, F.J.
29 July 2013, Tropical Storm Flossie passed the Hawaiian Islands. This is the first interaction between an active, vigorously degassing volcano and a tropical cyclone captured by a vog (volcanic smog) dispersion model run over the Hawaiian Islands since operational simulations began in 2010, providing a unique opportunity to analyze the influence of robust volcanic emissions entrained into a tropical cyclone. Results from the vog dispersion model are compared with Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite observations, lightning data from Vaisala's Global Lightning Dataset (GLD360), and the National Weather Service Weather Surveillance Radar, 1988 Dual-Polarmetric Doppler radar to investigate the effect of volcanic emissions on the storm. Observations and model results suggest that aerosol loading resulted in deep convection and glaciation which in turn enhanced charge separation and promoted active lightning.
Pattantyus, Andre; Businger, Steven
In this paper, we first evaluate the ability of the European Centre for Medium Range Forecast operational analysis and the ERA-Interim reanalysis to capture the surface wind signature of tropical cyclones (TCs). In those products, the error on the TC position is typically ˜150 km, cyclones are too big (˜250 km in ERA-Interim and > 100 km in the operational analysis against ˜50 km in observations) and the maximum wind speed is on average underestimated by 15-27 m · s-1 for strong TCs. These biases are generally reduced with the increase of horizontal resolution in the operational analysis, but remain significant at T1279 (˜16 km).
Jourdain, Nicolas C.; Barnier, Bernard; Ferry, Nicolas; Vialard, Jérome; Menkes, Christophe E.; Lengaigne, Matthieu; Parent, Laurent
A series of numerical experiments on an f plane are conducted using the fifth-generation Pennsylvania State University-National Center for Atmospheric Research Mesoscale Model, version 3 (MM5) to investigate how environmental vertical wind shear affects the motion, structure, and intensity of a tropical cyclone. The results show that a tropical cyclone has a motion component perpendicular to the vertical shear vector, first to the right of the shear and then to the left. An initially axisymmetric, upright tropical cyclone vortex develops a downshear tilt and wavenumber-one asymmetry when embedded in environmental vertical wind shear. In both small-moderate shears, a storm weakens slightly compared to that in a quiescent environment. The circulation centers between 300 hPa and the surface varies from 20 km to over 80 km. The secondary circulation becomes quite asymmetric about the surface cyclone center. As a result, convection on the upshear-right quadrant diminishes, limiting the upward heat transport in the eyewall and thus lowering the warm core and leading to a weakening of the storm. In strong vertical shear (above 12 m s-1), the vertical tilt exceeds 160 km in 48 h of simulation and the secondary circulation on the upshear side is completely destroyed with low-level outflow. The axisymmetric component of eyewall convection weakens remarkably and becomes much less penetrative. As a result, the warm core becomes weak and appears at lower levels and the storm weakens rapidly accordingly. This up-down weakening mechanism discussed in this study is different from those previously discussed. It emphasizes the penetrative role of eyewall convection in transporting heat from the ocean to the mid-upper troposphere, maintaining the warm core structure of the tropical cyclone. The vertical shear is found negative to eyewall penetrative convection.
Zheng, X.; Duan, Y. H.; Yu, H.
Total ozone associated with western Atlantic and Pacific tropical cyclones at different developmental stages is analyzed in an attempt to monitor the lower-stratospheric and upper-tropospheric mass adjustment processes associated with the tropical cyclone and its environment. The analysis is based on total ozone measurements obtained using the total ozone mapping spectrometer onboard the Nimbus-7. In order to study the total ozone within and surrounding the tropical cyclone, the storm is divided into four regions: the environment, the moat, the central dense overcast, and the eye. Tropical Cyclone Allen is used to discuss the total ozone features that are typical of other western Atlantic and Pacific storms. Western Pacific storms are emphasized in the discussion of the eye total ozone distribution.
Rodgers, Edward; Stout, John; Steranka, Joseph
Covering December 1997 through December 2008, over 13,000 tropical cyclone (TC) overpasses of 945 TCs by the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite are used to document the observed passive microwave ice scattering magnitudes, radar reflectivity, IR cloud top height, total lightning, and derived rainfall parameters including rain rate, raining area, and volumetric rain. A semimanual method is used to divide TC raining area into inner core (IC), inner rainband (IB), and outer rainband (OB) regions. Precipitation features (PFs) within these regions are compared for their convective vigor and rainfall characteristics based on passive microwave, IR, radar, and lightning properties. These properties in the IC region are further examined in terms of different TC intensity and intensity change categories. TC intensity categories include tropical depressions (TDs), tropical storms (TSs), category 1-2 hurricanes (CAT12s), and category 3-5 hurricanes (CAT35s). The 24-h TC intensity change categories include weakening (W), neutral (N), slowly intensifying (SI), and rapidly intensifying (RI). The stronger tails of the convective intensity distributions are found to be similar for features in both the IC and OB regions, while the features in the IB region yield the weakest convective signatures. However, at the middle to weaker end of the convective spectrum, ice scattering signatures and reflectivity profiles are the strongest for features in the IC region, followed by those in the IB, then those in the OB. The same order is found for the whole distribution spectrum of feature conditional mean rain rates in these regions. The convective intensity of features in the IC region are found to increase as storm intensity increases, except at the strongest end of the spectrum, where ice scattering signatures and reflectivity profiles are stronger in features associated with TS and TD strength storms rather than those associated with hurricane strength storms. The IC conditional mean rain rate and volumetric rain increase as storm intensity increases. It is found that necessary conditions for RI are that the minimum 85 GHz PCT in the IC region must be less than 256 K and the minimum 37 GHz PCT must be less than 275 K. Over 98% of RI minimum 11im brightness temperatures in the IC region are less than 212 K. RI storms always have larger raining area and volumetric rain in the IC region than storms in other intensity change categories.
Ramirez, Ellen Michelle
Over the past several years, we have flown a set of calibrated electric field meters (FMs) on the NASA high altitude ER-2 aircraft over oceanic and landbased storms in a number of locations. These included tropical oceanic cyclones and hurricanes in the Caribbean and Atlantic ocean during the Third and Fourth Convection And Moisture EXperiment (CAMEX-3,1998; CAMEX-4, 2001), thunderstorms in Florida during the TExas FLorida UNderflight (TEFLUN, 1998) experiment, tropical thunderstorms in Brazil during the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission - Large Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia (TRMM LBA, 1999), and finally, hurricanes and tropical cyclones in the Caribbean and Western Pacific and thunderstorms in Central America during the Tropical Cloud Systems and Processes (TCSP, 2005) mission. Between these various missions we have well over 50 sorties that provide a unique insights on the different electrical environment, evolution and activity occurring in and around these various types of storms. In general, the electric fields over the tropical oceanic storms and hurricanes were less than a few kilovolts per meter at the ER-2 altitude, while the lightning rates were low. Land-based thunderstorms often produced high lightning activity and correspondingly higher electric fields.
Mach, Doug M.; Blakeslee, Richard J.; Bateman, Monte G.; Bailey, Jeff C.
The Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF-ARW) model and its three-dimensional variational data assimilation (3D-Var) system are used to investigate the impact of the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit-A (AMSU-A) radiances on the prediction of Indian Ocean tropical cyclones. Three tropical cyclones are selected for this study: cyclone Mala (April 2006; Bay of Bengal), cyclone Gonu (June 2007; Arabian Sea), and cyclone Sidr (November 2007; Bay of Bengal). For each case, observing system experiments are designed, by producing two sets of analyses from which forecasts are initialized. Both sets of analyses contain all conventional and satellite observations operationally used, including, but not limited to, Quick Scatterometer (QuikSCAT) surface winds, Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I) surface winds, Meteosat-derived atmospheric motion vectors (AMVs), and differ only in the exclusion (CNT) or inclusion (EXP) of AMSU-A radiances. Results show that the assimilation of AMSU-A radiances changes the large-scale thermodynamic structure of the atmosphere, and also produce a stronger warm core. These changes cause large forecast track improvements. In particular, without AMSU-A assimilation, most forecasts do not produce landfall. On the contrary, the forecasts initialized from improved EXP analyses in which AMSU-A data are included produce realistic landfall. In addition, intensity forecast is also improved. Even if the analyzed cyclone intensity is not affected by the assimilation of AMSU-A radiances, the predicted intensity improves substantially because of the development of warm cores which, through creation of stronger gradients, helps the model in producing intense low centre pressure.
Singh, Randhir; Kishtawal, C. M.; Pal, P. K.; Joshi, P. C.
All of the GEOS 3 satellite altimeter schedule information were collected with all of the available 1977 and 1978 tropical cyclone positional information. The time period covers from March 23, 1977 through Nov. 23, 1978. The geographical region includes all ocean area north of the equator divided into the following operational areas: the Atlantic area (which includes the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico); the eastern Pacific area; the central and western Pacific area; and the Indian Ocean area. All available source material concerning tropical cyclones was collected. The date/time/location information was extracted for each disturbance. This information was compared with the GEOS 3 altimeter ON/OFF history information to determine the existence of any altimeter data close enough in both time and location to make the data potentially useful for further study (the very liberal criteria used was time less than 24 hours and location within 25 degrees). Geographic plots (cyclone versus GEOS 3 orbit track) were produced for all of the events found showing the approximate location of the cyclone and the GEOS 3 orbit traces for the full day.
Stanley, H. R.; Taylor, R. L.
Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF-ARW) model and its three-dimensional variational data assimilation (3D-Var) system are used to investigate the impact of the Quick Scatterometer (QuikSCAT) near surface winds, Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I)-derived Total Precipitable Water (TPW), and Meteosat-7-derived Atmospheric Motion Vectors (AMVs) on the track and intensity prediction of tropical cyclones over the North Indian Ocean. The case of tropical cyclone, Gonu (June 2007; Arabian Sea), is first tested and the results show significant improvements particularly due to the assimilation of QuikSCAT winds. Three other cases, cyclone Mala (April 2006; Bay of Bengal), Orissa super cyclone (October 1999; Bay of Bengal), and Very Severe Cyclonic storm (October 1999; Bay of Bengal), are then examined. The prediction of cyclone tracks improved significantly with the assimilation of QuikSCAT winds. The track improvement resulted from the relocation of the initial cyclonic vortices after the assimilation of QuikSCAT wind vectors. After the assimilation of QuikSCAT winds, the mean (for four cyclone cases) track errors for first, second, and third day forecasts are reduced to 72, 101, and 166 km, respectively, from 190, 250, and 381 km of control (without QuikSCAT winds) runs. The assimilation of QuikSCAT winds also shows positive impact on the intensity (in terms of maximum surface level winds) prediction particularly for those cyclones, which are at their initial stages of the developments at the time of data assimilation. The assimilation of SSM/I TPW has significant influence (negative and positive) on the cyclone track. In three of the four cases, the assimilation of the SSM/I TPW resulted in drying of lower troposphere over cyclonic region. This decrease of moisture in TPW assimilation experiment resulted in reduction of cyclonic intensity. In three of the four cyclones, the assimilation of Meteosat-7 AMVs shows negative impact on the track prediction.
Singh, Randhir; Kishtawal, C. M.; Pal, P. K.; Joshi, P. C.
Total ozone associated with western Atlantic and Pacific tropical cyclones at various stages of development were analyzed for the purpose of monitoring storm intensity and/or intensity changes. The analysis is based on total ozone measurements from the Nimbus 7 Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS). Since ozone may be considered a passive tracer in the lower stratosphere and the ozone gradients are strongest just above the tropopause, fluctuations of total ozone are due to variations in tropopause height and/or changes in concentration within the column caused by vertical and horizontal advection. In the subtropical northern Pacific during August and September 1981, a negative correlation greater than 0.60 was found between upper-tropospheric geopotential heights near the tropopause level and total ozone. Preliminary results suggest that TOMS can be used to resolve the upper-troposphere structure in and around tropical cyclones and can provide an indication of those processes that help to intensify and maintain these storms.
Rodgers, Edward B.
Satellite measured equivalent blackbody temperatures of Atlantic Ocean tropical cyclones are used to investigate their role in describing the convection and cloud patterns of the storms and in predicting wind intensity. The high temporal resolution of the equivalent blackbody temperature measurements afforded with the geosynchronous satellite provided sequential quantitative measurements of the tropical cyclone which reveal a diurnal pattern of convection at the inner core during the early developmental stage; a diurnal pattern of cloudiness in the storm's outer circulation throughout the life cycle; a semidiurnal pattern of cloudiness in the environmental atmosphere surrounding the storms during the weak storm stage; an outward modulating atmospheric wave originating at the inner core; and long term convective bursts at the inner core prior to wind intensification.
Steranka, J.; Rodgers, E. B.; Gentry, R. C.
Main Development Region (MDR) for tropical cyclones (TCs) in the western North Pacific Ocean is the most active TC region in the world. Based on synergetic analyses of satellite altimetry and gravity observations, we found that the subsurface ocean conditions in the western North Pacific MDR has become even more favorable for the intensification of typhoons and supertyphoons. Compared to the early 1990s, a 10% increase in both the depth of the 26°C isotherm (D26) and Tropical Cyclone Heat Potential (TCHP) has occurred in the MDR. In addition, the areas of high TCHP (? 110 kJ cm-2) and large D26 (? 110 m) have 13% and 17% increases, respectively. Because these high TCHP and large D26 regions are often associated with intensification of the most intense TCs (i.e. supertyphoons), this recent warming requires close attention and monitoring.
Pun, Iam-Fei; Lin, I.-I.; Lo, Min-Hui
Two distinctly different forms of tropical Pacific Ocean warming are shown to have substantially different impacts on the frequency and tracks of North Atlantic tropical cyclones. The eastern Pacific warming (EPW) is identical to that of the conventional El Niño, whereas the central Pacific warming (CPW) has maximum temperature anomalies located near the dateline. In contrast to EPW events, CPW episodes are associated with a greater-than-average frequency and increasing landfall potential along the Gulf of Mexico coast and Central America. Differences are shown to be associated with the modulation of vertical wind shear in the main development region forced by differential teleconnection patterns emanating from the Pacific. The CPW is more predictable than the EPW, potentially increasing the predictability of cyclones on seasonal time scales.
Kim, Hye-Mi; Webster, , Peter J.; Curry, Judith A.
The sensitivities to surface friction and the Coriolis parameter in tropical cyclogenesis are studied using an axisymmetric version of the Goddard cloud ensemble model. Our experiments demonstrate that tropical cyclogenesis can still occur without surface friction. However, the resulting tropical cyclone has very unrealistic structure. Surface friction plays an important role of giving the tropical cyclones their observed smaller size and diminished intensity. Sensitivity of the cyclogenesis process to surface friction. in terms of kinetic energy growth, has different signs in different phases of the tropical cyclone. Contrary to the notion of Ekman pumping efficiency, which implies a preference for the highest Coriolis parameter in the growth rate if all other parameters are unchanged, our experiments show no such preference.
Chao, Winston C.; Chen, Baode; Tao, Wei-Kuo; Lau, William K. M. (Technical Monitor)
A new parameterization scheme of sea surface momentum roughness length for all wind regimes, including high winds, under tropical\\u000a cyclone (TC) conditions is constructed based on measurements from Global Positioning System (GPS) dropsonde. It reproduces\\u000a the observed regime transition, namely, an increase of the drag coefficient with an increase in wind speed up to 40 m s?1, followed by a
Zhihua Zeng; Yuqing Wang; Yihong Duan; Lianshou Chen; Zhiqiu Gao
Output from a simulation with the CSIRO Mark 2 climatic model has been used to investigate the secular variability of tropical\\u000a cyclone formation over the globe using Gray’s Seasonal Genesis Parameter. This simulation differs from previous surrogate\\u000a studies in using a coupled atmospheric-oceanic model, instead of specified sea surface temperatures, as well as being of multi-millenial\\u000a duration, compared with decadal
B. G. Hunt; I. G. Watterson
The influence of the global warming on tropical cyclones has been examined using a high resolution AGCM. Two ten-year integrations were performed with the JMA global model at T106 horizontal resolu- tion. For the control experiment, the observed SST for the period 1979-1988 is prescribed, while for the doubling CO2 (2 ? CO2) experiment, SST anomaly due to the global
Masato SUGI; Akira NODA; Nobuo SATO
Tropical Cyclones (TCs) lead to potentially severe coastal flooding through wind surge and also through rainfall-runoff processes. There is growing interest in modeling these processes simultaneously. Here, a statistical approach that can facilitate this process is presented with an application to the Hudson River Basin that is associated with the New York City metropolitan area. Three submodels are used in sequence. The first submodel is a stochastic model of the complete life cycle of North Atlantic (NA) tropical cyclones developed by Hall and Yonekura (2011). It uses archived data of TCs throughout the North Atlantic to estimate landfall rates at high geographic resolution as a function of the ENSO state and of sea surface temperature (SST). The second submodel translates the attributes of a tropical cyclone simulated by the first model to rainfall intensity at selected stations within the watershed of Hudson River. Two different approaches are used and compared: artificial neural network (ANN) and k-nearest neighbor (KNN). Finally, the third submodel transforms, once again, by using an ANN approach and KNN, the rainfall intensities, calculated for the ensemble of the stations, to the streamflows at specific points of the tributaries of the Hudson River. These streamflows are to be used as inputs in a hydrodynamic model that includes storm surge surge dynamics for the simulation of coastal flooding along the Hudson River. Calibration and validation of the model is carried out by using, selected tropical cyclone data since 1950, and hourly station rainfall and streamflow recorded for such extreme events. Four stream gauges (Troy dam, Mohawk River at Cohoes, Mohawk River diversion at Crescent Dam, Hudson River above lock one nr Waterford), a gauge from a tributary in the lower Hudson River, and over 20 rain gauges are used. The performance of the proposed model as tool for storm events is then analyzed and discussed.
Cioffi, Francesco; Conticello, Federico; Hall, Thimoty; Lall, Upmanu; Orton, Philip
Horizontal winds at 850 hPa from tropical cyclones retrieved using the nonlinear balance equation, where the mass field was determined from Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU) temperature soundings, are compared with the surface wind fields derived from NASA's Quick Scatterometer (QuikSCAT) and Hurricane Research Division H*Wind analyses. It was found that the AMSU-derived wind speeds at 850 hPa have linear
Kotaro Bessho; Mark Demaria; John A. Knaff
A revised geophysical model function for applications of QuikSCAT data to tropical cyclones is described. An analysis of QuikSCAT 00s from the fore- and aft-beams indicates a directional dependence of about 0.5-1 dB for above 40 m\\/s wind speeds. The differences between QuikSCAT fore- and aft-beam o0s were used to estimate the second harmonics coefficients, characterizing the upwind and crosswind
Simon H. Yueh; Bryan Stiles; W. T. Liu
Can Foraminifera be used to Identify Storm Deposits in Shallow-Water Tropical Reef Settings?: Examining the Impact of Cyclone Hamish on the Foraminiferal Assemblages of Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Foraminifera (marine microfossils) represent a valuable tool in identifying significant storm events in the geological past. Much of the previous work in this area however, has concentrated on temperate settings and marsh deposits. Little work has focused on tropical marine settings and no studies have looked to identify distinct foraminiferal assemblages associated with cyclone events in tropical reef settings in the South-West Pacific. In April 2008, samples were collected from the reef flat surrounding Heron Island as part of a study of foraminiferal biodiversity. On March 9th 2009, Cyclone Hamish, a Category 5 cyclone and the most significant cyclone event, in terms of impact and damage, to occur in the southern Great Barrier Reef region in over 30 years, passed in close proximity to Heron Island. With a pre-cyclone baseline collected less than 1 year previous, this presented an ideal opportunity to recollect, with the aim to determining if a discernable cyclone generated deposit could be identified. A distinct difference in composition or character of the foraminiferal assemblage identified in the pre- and post-cyclone samples could be directly attributed to the cyclone and would represent a ‘fingerprint assemblage’. This would provide a mechanism for determining cyclonic activity in the sub-recent and geological past for both the Great Barrier Reef region as well as throughout the South-west Pacific. Analysis of the total foraminiferal assemblage in the two sample lots reveals little difference between the pre- and post-cyclone assemblage. In both cases, the assemblage is dominated by the same two epiphytic taxa, Calcarina hispida Brady and Baculogypsina sphaerulata (Parker and Jones). No taxa are restricted to either pre- or post-cyclone samples and the post-cyclone assemblage bears no resemblance to the assemblage recovered from samples collected in the inter-reef channels. This suggests that the cyclone is only mobilising and redepositing material on the reef flat and not dredging material from deeper water. The lack of difference between the two sample lots would seem to indicate that foraminifera have little to offer in determining the history of cyclonic activity in the region. More detailed analysis of the assemblage however, is more likely to yield measurable differences. Concentrating on the minor constituents of the fauna, in particular the smaller benthic forms, as well as the size range and taphonomic character of the material, suggests differences that can be used to identify cyclonic activity in the sub-recent and geological past.
Strotz, L. C.; Mamo, B. L.
The surface stress in tropical storms is computed as a function of the radius, from mean wind data in the troposphere. If only the symmetrical part of the circulation is considered, the stress ranges from 1 dyne per square centimeter in the outskirts to 20 dy\\/cm2 at a distance of 1 degree latitude from the center. Inclusion of the mean
E. Palmén; Herbert Riehl
Transition mechanisms characterizing changes from hurricanes to midlatitude cyclones and vice-versa (extratropical and tropical transition) have become a topic of increasing interest, partially because of their association with recent unusual storms that have developed in different ocean basins of both hemispheres. The aim of this work is to discuss some recent cases of transition and highly unusual hurricane developments and to address some of their wider implications for climate science. Frequently those dramatic cyclones are responsible for severe weather, potentially causing significant damage to property and infrastructure. An additional manifestation discussed here is their association with cold surges, a topic that has been very little explored in the literature. In the Southern Hemisphere, the first South Atlantic hurricane, Catarina, developed in March 2004 under very unusual large-scale conditions. That exceptional cyclone is viewed as a case of tropical transition facilitated by a well-developed blocking structure. A new index for monitoring tropical transition in the subtropical South Atlantic is discussed. This "South Atlantic index" is used to show that the unusual flow during and prior to Catarina's genesis can be attributed to tropical/extratropical interaction mechanisms. The "Donald Duck" case in Australia and Vince in the North Atlantic have also been examined and shown to belong to a category of hybrid-transitioning systems that will achieve at least partial tropical transition. While clearly more research is needed on the topic of transition, as we gain further insight, it is becoming increasingly apparent that features of large-scale circulation do play a fundamental role. A complex interaction between an extratropical transition case and an extreme summer cold surge affecting southeastern Australia is discussed as an example of wider climate implications. PMID:19076416
Pezza, Alexandre Bernardes; Simmonds, Ian
Cut-off low-pressure systems-COLS- are usually closed circulations at middle and upper troposphere developed from a deep trough in the westerlies. There is a significant percentage of COLs that occur in the Subtropics. These subtropical Cut-off low systems are important for tropical cyclone forecasting as they can force large amounts of harmful vertical wind shear over tropical disturbances and tropical cyclones. There are also suggestions that subtropical COLs can assist tropical cyclone genesis and intensification by providing additional forced ascent near the storm center and/or by allowing for an efficient outflow channel in the upper troposphere. In this study we identify COLs systems in Subtropical for a 41-year period (1958 to 1998) using an approach based in imposing the three main physical characteristics of the conceptual model of COL (a. closed circulation and minimum of geopotential, minimum of equivalent thickness, and two two baroclinic zones, one in front of the low and the other behind the low). Data from NCAR-NCEP reanalysis were used. The objective was to identify those tropical cyclones in the Atlantic basis that were related to COLs in their genesis, intensification or maintenance as well as to characterize contour conditions that permit a COL to assist tropical cyclone genesis what will be useful for its predictive potential.
Nieto, R.; Gimeno, L.; de La Torre, L.; Tesouro, M.; Añel, J. A.; García, R.
article title: Tropical Cyclone Monty Strikes Western Australia ... On February 29, Monty was upgraded to category 4 cyclone status. After traveling inland about 300 kilometers to the south, the ... for the effects of the high winds associated with cyclone rotation. Areas where heights could not be retrieved are shown in dark ...
The Naval Research Laboratory maintains a satellite web portal that monitors global tropical cyclones in every basin on a continuing basis. The portal is used routinely by agencies around the world in forecasting operations and the issuance of warnings. Products from this site are widely redistributed and published frequently in journal articles, seasonal storm summaries, and ongoing World Wide Web discussions. Traditionally, weather satellite reconnaissance of tropical cyclones has depended on the interpretation of visible and infrared imagery. But such methods have limitations. Visible images are not available during the nighttime, and both kinds of imagery often fail to detect important structure, including storm eyes, which are vital for determining the strength and location of tropical systems. Thus, the portal supplements visible and infrared coverage with products from satellite microwave sensors. These sensors penetrate higher clouds to reveal important detail about low-level cloud and precipitation features. The first part of the talk will discuss how these various products can be used together for improved analysis. The second part of talk will present information about tropical cyclone structure. Surface winds from aircraft will be compared to features seen in passive microwave images. We see that low brightness temperature features on 85 GHz images often corresponding to wind maxima near the sea surface. We shall make some inferences about how the observation of specific structures in satellite images can help characterize the wind field when no aircraft data are available. Special attention will be paid to multiple eye walls apparent on satellite images. These are associated with very intense storms which undergo an evolutionary process not observed in weaker systems.
Lee, T.; Hawkins, J.; Turk, F.; Miller, S.; Sampson, C.; Kuciauskas, A.; Richardson, K.; Kent, J.
This is a presentation of a study in which the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model was used to investigate the impact of parameterized warm-rain processes in three bulk microphysics parameterization (MP) schemes on the model-simulated tropical cyclone development. The three MP schemes investigated are the Ferrier single-moment 3-category, the WRF single-moment 6-category (WSM6) and the Thompson double-moment 6-category schemes. By diagnosing the source and sink terms of the hydrometeor budget equations, we found that the differences in the warm-rain production rate, particularly by conversion of cloud water to rain water, contribute significantly to the variations in the frozen hydrometeor production and in the overall latent heat release above the freezing level. These differences in parameterized warm-rain production reflect the basic differences of the schemes in the definition of rain droplet size distribution and consequently in spectrum-dependent microphysical processes such as accretion growth of frozen hydrometeors and their sedimentation. Hydrometeor budget analysis of the three schemes indicates that the assumed pathways to the production of frozen hydrometeors are quite sensitive to the amount of available super-cooled rain water and, thus, the uncertainties in the parameterized warm-rain processes can affect the intensification and structure of the model-simulated tropical cyclone. Results from this study strongly suggest that the differences in the single- and double-moment formulations of the three schemes are not the primary factor causing the schemes to behave differently in the tropical environment. More importantly, model users should be aware of the impact of the assumed hydrometeor size distributions on results when choosing any MP scheme for tropical cyclone simulations.
Grell, Evelyn D.; Michelson, Sara A.; Bao, Jian-Wen
The downshear reformation of Tropical Storm Gabrielle (2001) was investigated using radar reflectivity and lightning data that were nearly continuous in time, as well as frequent aircraft reconnaissance fights. Initially the storm was a marginal tropical storm in an environment with strong 850-200 hPa vertical wind shear of 12-13 m/s and an approaching upper tropospheric trough. Both the observed outflow and an adiabatic balance model calculation showed that the radial-vertical circulation increased with time as the trough approached. Convection was highly asymmetric, with almost all radar return located in one quadrant left of downshear in the storm. Reconnaissance data show that an intense mesovortex formed downshear of the original center. This vortex was located just south of: rather than within, a strong downshear left lightning outbreak, consistent with tilting of the horizontal vorticity associated with the vertical wind shear. The downshear mesovortex contained a 972 hPa minimum central pressure, 20 hPa lower than minimum pressure in the original vortex just three hours earlier. The mesovortex became the new center of the storm, but weakened somewhat prior to landfall. It is argued that dry air carried around the storm from the region of upshear subsidence, as well as the direct effects of the shear, prevented the reformed vortex from continuing to intense.
Using JTWC (Joint Typhoon Warning Center) best track analysis data for the Indian Ocean cyclones, we developed an empirical equation for prediction of maximum surface wind speed of tropical cyclones during first 6-12 hours of landfall along the coastline of Indian subcontinent. A non-linear data fitting approach, the Genetic Algorithm, has been used to develop the above empirical equation using data for 74 tropical cyclones that made landfall on the coasts of India, Bangladesh and Myanmar during the period 1978-2011. For an out of sample validation test, the mean absolute error of the prediction was found to be 5.2 kt, and a correlation of 0.97. Our analysis indicates that time-integration of land area intercepted by cyclones during the landfall is a better predictor of post-landfall intensity compared to post-landfall time span. This approach also helps to tackle the complexity of coastline geometry of Indian subcontinent area.
Kishtawal, C. M.; Shah, Shivani; Chaurasia, Sashmita; Jaiswal, Neeru
The incidence of major storm surges in the last decade have dramatically emphasized the immense destructive capabilities of extreme water level events, particularly when driven by severe tropical cyclones. Given this risk, it is vitally important that the exceedance probabilities of extreme water levels are accurately evaluated to inform risk-based flood and erosion management, engineering and for future land-use planning and to ensure the risk of catastrophic structural failures due to under-design or expensive wastes due to over-design are minimised. Australia has a long history of coastal flooding from tropical cyclones. Using a novel integration of two modeling techniques, this paper provides the first estimates of present day extreme water level exceedance probabilities around the whole coastline of Australia, and the first estimates that combine the influence of astronomical tides, storm surges generated by both extra-tropical and tropical cyclones, and seasonal and inter-annual variations in mean sea level. Initially, an analysis of tide gauge records has been used to assess the characteristics of tropical cyclone-induced surges around Australia. However, given the dearth (temporal and spatial) of information around much of the coastline, and therefore the inability of these gauge records to adequately describe the regional climatology, an observationally based stochastic tropical cyclone model has been developed to synthetically extend the tropical cyclone record to 10,000 years. Wind and pressure fields derived for these synthetically generated events have then been used to drive a hydrodynamic model of the Australian continental shelf region with annual maximum water levels extracted to estimate exceedance probabilities around the coastline. To validate this methodology, selected historic storm surge events have been simulated and resultant storm surges compared with gauge records. Tropical cyclone induced exceedance probabilities have been combined with estimates derived from a 61-year water level hindcast described in a companion paper to give a single estimate of present day extreme water level probabilities around the whole coastline of Australia. Results of this work are freely available to coastal engineers, managers and researchers via a web-based tool (www.sealevelrise.info). The described methodology could be applied to other regions of the world, like the US east coast, that are subject to both extra-tropical and tropical cyclones.
Haigh, Ivan D.; MacPherson, Leigh R.; Mason, Matthew S.; Wijeratne, E. M. S.; Pattiaratchi, Charitha B.; Crompton, Ryan P.; George, Steve
Very severe cyclonic storm Nargis devastated Burma (Myanmar) in May 2008, caused tremendous damage and numerous fatalities, and became one of the 10 deadliest tropical cyclones (TCs) of all time. To increase the warning time in order to save lives and reduce economic damage, it is important to extend the lead time in the prediction of TCs like Nargis. As recent advances in high-resolution global models and supercomputing technology have shown the potential for improving TC track and intensity forecasts, the ability of a global mesoscale model to predict TC genesis in the Indian Ocean is examined in this study with the aim of improving simulations of TC climate. High-resolution global simulations with real data show that the initial formation and intensity variations of TC Nargis can be realistically predicted up to 5 days in advance. Preliminary analysis suggests that improved representations of the following environmental conditions and their hierarchical multiscale interactions were the key to achieving this lead time: (1) a westerly wind burst and equatorial trough, (2) an enhanced monsoon circulation with a zero wind shear line, (3) good upper-level outflow with anti-cyclonic wind shear between 200 and 850 hPa, and (4) low-level moisture convergence.
Shen, B.-W.; Tao, W.-K.; Lau, W. K.; Atlas, R.
Very severe cyclonic storm Nargis devastated Burma (Myanmar) in May 2008, caused tremendous damage and numerous fatalities, and became one of the 10 deadliest tropical cyclones (TCs) of all time. To increase the warning time in order to save lives and reduce economic damage, it is important to extend the lead time in the prediction of TCs like Nargis. As recent advances in high-resolution global models and supercomputing technology have shown the potential for improving TC track and intensity forecasts, the ability of a global mesoscale model to predict TC genesis in the Indian Ocean is examined in this study with the aim of improving simulations of TC climate. High-resolution global simulations with real data show that the initial formation and intensity variations of TC Nargis can be realistically predicted up to 5 days in advance. Preliminary analysis suggests that improved representations of the following environmental conditions and their hierarchical multiscale interactions were the key to achieving this lead time: (1) a westerly wind burst and equatorial trough, (2) an enhanced monsoon circulation with a zero wind shear line, (3) good upper-level outflow with anti-cyclonic wind shear between 200 and 850 hPa, and (4) low-level moisture convergence.
Shen, B.-W.; Tao, W.-K.; Lau, W. K.; Atlas, R.
Synoptic extra-tropical cyclone and anticyclone trajectories have been constructed from mean daily sea level pressure (SLP)\\u000a data using a new automated scheme. Frequency, intensity and trajectory characteristics of these transients have been summarized\\u000a to form indices describing wintertime cyclonic and anticyclonic activity over the North-Eastern Pacific (east of 170°W) during\\u000a 1950–2001. During this period, the strength of anticyclones gradually diminished
Alice Favre; Alexander Gershunov
Extratropical transition (ET) in the western North Pacific is defined here in terms of two stages:transformation, in which the tropical cyclone evolves into a baroclinic storm; and reintensification,where the transformed storm then deepens as an extratropical cyclone. In this study, 30 ET cases occurring during 1 June-31 October 1994- 98 are reviewed using Navy Operational Global Atmospheric Prediction System analyses;
Peter M. Klein; Patrick A. Harr; Russell L. Elsberry
Mid-latitudinal cyclones are a key factor for understanding regional anomalies of primary meteorological parameters, such as temperature, surface wind speed or precipitation. Extreme cyclones potentially cause tremendous impacts on society and economy, e.g. by enormous wind-storm induced damages. Based on an ensemble prediction experiment with 41 annually initialised (1961-2001) hindcasts, as part of the German MiKlip-initiative for decadal prediction, this study evaluates a single-model decadal forecast system (MPI-ESM-LR). It analyses, whether the forecast system can provide skillful probabilistic three-category forecasts (enhanced, normal or decreased) of extra-tropical winter (ONDJFM) cyclone frequencies over the northern hemisphere with lead times from one year up to a decade. Thus, it will be analysed whether the MiKlip-system is of additional value compared to climatological forecasts and uninitialised climate projections. It is shown, that these predictions exhibit significant skill, mainly over the North Atlantic and Pacific for lead times of 2-5 years. Skill for the subset of intense (strongest 25% according to laplacian of SLP) cyclones is generally higher than for the full set of all detected systems.A comparison of decadal predictions from different initialisation strategies indicates systematic differences for some lead times and regions. Additional parameters (e.g. air temperature, SST, and geopotential height) and indices of large-scale variability modes (e.g. NAO and PNA) are analysed for a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms of cyclone frequency modification and thus potential sources of skill.
Kruschke, Tim; Rust, Henning W.; Kadow, Christopher; Leckebusch, Gregor C.; Ulbrich, Uwe
The paper evaluates the meteorological quality and operational utility of the Navy Operational Global Atmospheric Prediction System (NOGAPS) in forecasting tropical cyclones. It is shown that the model can provide useful predictions of motion and formation on a real-time basis in the western North Pacific. The meterological characteristics of the NOGAPS tropical cyclone predictions are evaluated by examining the formation of low-level cyclone systems in the tropics and vortex structure in the NOGAPS analysis and verifying 72-h forecasts. The adjusted NOGAPS track forecasts showed equitable skill to the baseline aid and the dynamical model. NOGAPS successfully predicted unusual equatorward turns for several straight-running cyclones.
Fiorino, Michael; Goerss, James S.; Jensen, Jack J.; Harrison, Edward J., Jr.
Accurate forecasts of seasonal typhoon activity in the northwestern Pacific are of critical importance to the people living in the densely populated coastal cities of east Asia. The El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a key component of these forecasts as past observations indicate that El Niño (La Niña) events are associated with an increase (decrease) in the proportion of typhoons striking Japan, Korea and Taiwan (The Philippines and the South China Sea). The ice core-derived ?18O record from the Quelccaya ice cap (Peru) is strongly correlated (r=0.646, p<0.001, 1856-2003) with sea surface temperatures (SST) in NINO 4, a region of the western equatorial Pacific that is a sensitive recorder of ENSO. Additionally, a direct relationship is observed between ?18O and both the mean longitude of typhoon development (r=0.59, p<.001, 1945-2003) and the number of typhoon days (r=0.59, p<.001, 1945-2003). The typhoon and ice core ?18O records exhibit patterns of decadal-scale variability that closely resemble the longer-term variations in NINO 4 SSTs (decadal NINO 4 SST variability is known as the "Decadal ENSO"). Annual values of ?18O are significantly different (p=.05) between La Niña and El Niño years suggesting that ?18O reflects not only the Decadal ENSO but also the superimposed interannual ENSO variability. ENSO-driven shifts in the SSTs and large-scale atmospheric circulation patterns may provide a physical linkage to explain the observed relationships among ?18O, SSTs and typhoon activity. The effect of the ongoing warming on ENSO is unclear, but any changes in the background frequency or intensity of ENSO events would likely affect the development of typhoons and cyclones in the Pacific as well as hurricanes in the Atlantic. The 1500-year ?18O record from Quelccaya offers a unique opportunity to examine how ENSO-driven hurricane and typhoon activity responded to large-scale climate forcing (changes) in the past and may provide a more complete perspective and better understanding that will be required to evaluate the likely effects under future climate change scenarios
The second edition of the United Nations Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction in 2011 outlined that the worldwide physical exposure to tropical cyclones increased by 192 per cent between 1970 and 2010. For the past 160 years, the Republic of Haiti has experienced numerous tropical storms and hurricanes which may have directly effected the country's development path. However, statistical data regarding storm frequencies and population densities in space and time show that the population's exposure in Haiti may have more negatively influenced its development than the actual number of storms and hurricanes. Haitians, in particular, those living in urban areas have been exposed to much higher tropical cyclone hazards than rural areas since the second half of the 20th century. Specifically, more storms made landfall in regions of accelerated migration/urbanization, such as, in departments Ouest, Artibonite, Nord, and Nord-Ouest with Haiti's four largest cities Port-au-Prince, Gonaives, Cap-Haitien and Port-de-Paix.
Klose, C. D.
There is growing evidence that anthropogenic climate change may alter patterns of tropical cyclone frequency, intensity and spatial distribution, which in turn will alter the carbon balance of terrestrial systems in the large regions impacted by these storms. Recent studies project up to a doubling of major storms (Saffir-Simpson Scale 3-5) over the next century. Single large storms have been shown to be capable of causing committed carbon emissions equivalent to the annual U.S. carbon sink. These changes have the potential to affect climate mitigation strategies, most of which rely on maintaining or enhancing the terrestrial carbon sink to restrain the accumulation of atmospheric greenhouse gases. Altered patterns of disturbances and the resulting changes to the carbon balance of terrestrial systems could impact the magnitude of emissions to mitigate, the economic value of ecosystem carbon storage, and thus future land-use patterns, food prices and energy technology. Here we investigate the potential consequences of altered tropical cyclone activity on climate mitigation strategies using a fully integrated model (iED) that links advanced ecological and socio-economic models. The model combines the regional integrated assessment algorithms of the Global Change Assessment Model (GCAM), with the climate- sensitive ecosystem and carbon modeling in the Ecosystem Demography (ED) model, and the land-use mapping algorithms of the Global Land-use Model (GLM). We explore a range of scenarios of altered future tropical cyclone frequency, intensity and spatial pattern, the resulting effects on the terrestrial carbon balance, and the coupled effects on the food and energy sector under a range of future climate mitigation goals.
Fisk, J. P.; Hurtt, G. C.; LePage, Y.; Patel, P.; Chini, L. P.; Thomson, A. M.; Clarke, L.; Calvin, K. V.; Wise, M.; Chambers, J. Q.; Negron Juarez, R. I.
This study describes new comprehensive reconstructions of individual Western Atlantic Basin tropical cyclones for each year of the first half of the nineteenth century in the Western Atlantic Basin that are directly compatible and supplement the National Hurricane Center's HURDAT (Atlantic basin hurricane database). Data used for reconstructing tropical cyclones come from ship logbooks, ship protests, diaries, newspapers, and early instrumental records from more than 50 different archival repositories in the United States and the United Kingdom. Tropical cyclone strength was discriminated among tropical storms, hurricanes, major hurricanes, and non-tropical lows at least at tropical storm strength. The results detail the characteristics of several hundred storms, many of them being newly documented, and tracks for all storms were mapped. Overall, prominent active periods of tropical cyclones are evident along the western Atlantic Ocean in the 1830s but Caribbean and Gulf coasts exhibit active periods as being more evident in the 1810s and 1820s. Differences in decadal variations were even more pronounced when examining time series of activity at the statewide scale. High resolution paleoclimate and historical instrumental records of the AMO, NAO, ENSO, Atlantic SSTs, West African rainfall, and volcanic activity explain how different modes in these forcing mechanisms may explain some of the multidecadal and interannual variations. The early nineteenth century active hurricane activity appears to be particularly unique in corresponding with a low (negative index) AMO period, and as they relate to particular synoptic-scale patterns in the latter part of the Little Ice Age. Model simulations offer some hypotheses on such patterns, perhaps suggesting increased baroclinic-related storms and a slight later possible shift in the seasonal peak of tropical cyclones for some areas at times. Some years, such as 1806, 1837, 1838, 1842, and 1846 have particularly very active seasons, and we critically examined the synoptic-scale circulation responsible and also related some of the storms as they relate to potential modern analogs.
Mock, C. J.; Dodds, S. F.; Rodgers, M. D.; Patwardhan, A.
This module introduces forecasters to the use of microwave image products for observing and analyzing tropical cyclones. Microwave data from polar-orbiting satellites is crucial to operational forecasters, and particularly for those with maritime forecasting responsibilities where in situ observations are sparse. This module includes information on storm structure and techniques for improved storm positioning using the 37 and 85-91 GHz channels from several satellite sensors. Information on current sensors and on the product availability in the NPOESS era is also presented.
Tropical Cyclone Zoe brought winds in excess of 300 km per hour (186 mph) and dangerous waves to the south pacific islands on December 29, 2002. The visualization zooms down to the storm and then shows the overall rain structure. Blue represents areas where at least 0.5 inches of rain fell per hour. Green shows at least 1.0 inch of rain. Yellow is 1.7 inches and red depicts more than 2.2 inches of rain per hour.
Perkins, Lori; Halverson, Jeff
An approach to the problem of deducing wind speed and pressure around tropical cyclones is presented. The technique, called the Surface Wind Inference from Microwave data (SWIM technique, uses satellites microwave sounder data to measure upper tropospheric temperature anomalies which may then be related to surface pressure anomalies through the hydrostatic and radiative transfer equations. Surface pressure gradients outside of the radius of maximum wind are estimated for the first time. Future instruments may be able to estimate central pressure with + or - 0/1 kPa accuracy.
Kidder, S. Q.
Water vapor is the most abundant greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. Changes in its concentration and distribution are controlled by the hydrologic cycle. Because of its capacity to absorb and emit long wave radiation, release latent heat during condensation in storms and reflect short wave radiation when clouds form it has a major impact on Global climate change. The stable isotope ratios of water are H20 H2l6O and H0 H2l6O. These ratios change whenever water undergoes a phase change. They also change in both rain and water vapor whenever an air parcel is exposed to rain. In addition the relative changes in the two ratios differ as a &nction of the relative humidity. In short, the stable isotope ratios in water vapor in the atmosphere contain an integrated history of the processes affecting the concentration and distribution of water vapor in the atmosphere. Therefore the measurement and interpretation of changes in these stable isotope ratios are a powerful tool matched by no other method in tracing the transport history of water in the atmosphere. Our initial studies under this grant focused on the changes of the stable isotope ratios of precipitation and water vapor in tropical cyclones. The changes in time and space were found to be very large and to trace the transport of water in the storms reflecting changes in basic structural features. Because the stable isotope ratios of rains from tropical cyclones are so low flooding associated with land falling tropical cyclones introduces a negative isotopic spike into the coastal surface waters. In addition the stable isotope ratios of water vapor in the vicinity of tropical cyclones is anomalously low. This suggests that carbonate shelled organisms such as ostracoda living in coastal waters have the potential to record the isotopic spike and thereby provide a long term record of tropical storm activity in sediment cores containing fossil shells. Likewise, tree rings in coastal environments offer a similar potential. We have analyzed the oxygen isotopic composition of ostrcoda shells formed in the floodwaters of Tropical Storm Allison (2001) and discovered the negative isotopic 1 16 spike. Because we had learned that storm activity has a major impact on the stable isotope ratios of water vapor in the tropics and sub-tropics we decided to analyze the isotopic compositions of water vapor in different locations in the tropics. We did this in Puerto Escondido, Mexico in July 1998, near Kwajalein Island in the Pacific in 1999 as part of a TRMM summer field program and in 2001 in Key West, Florida as part of the CAMEX 4 summer field program. Our isotopic studies along with our earlier tropical cyclone studies showed that the low isotopic ratios in water vapor induced by exposure to rains the storms persisted for 48 hours often far away from the original storm site. We also noted that positive isotopic spikes were introduced into atmospheric water vapor if winds were high and extensive sea spray was present. These findings have a significant impact on the interpretation of the stable isotope studies of tropical ice cores found in the high mountain regions of the tropics. The assumption made in interpreting the ice core record is that the source water vapor evaporated from the sea surface is in near isotopic equilibrium with the seawater and undergoes a decrease during its transport that reflects the change in temperature from the sea surface to the site of the ice core. Because an additional isotopic depletion occurs at the sea surface source area that depends on the intensity, duration and size of the tropical rain system the isotopic variations found in the ice cores must take into account changes in past storm activity in the tropics. These systems must be an important source of water vapor to the ice cores because they charge the troposphere with water vapor to a far greater vertical height than evaporation in quiescent regions. Finally, an interest in increased heat transfer in thnterior of tropical cyclones resulting from greater amounts of sea spray is a topic of considerab
Lawrence, James R.
Recent work has developed a new framework for the impact of vertical wind shear on the intensity evolution of tropical cyclones. A focus of this framework is on the frustration of the tropical cyclone's power machine by shear-induced, persistent downdrafts that flush relatively cool and dry (lower equivalent potential temperature, ?e) air into the storm's inflow layer. These previous results have been based on idealised numerical experiments for which we have deliberately chosen a simple set of physical parameterisations. Before efforts are undertaken to test the proposed framework with real atmospheric data, we assess here the robustness of our previous results in a more realistic and representative experimental setup by surveying and diagnosing five additional numerical experiments. The modifications of the experimental setup comprise the values of the exchange coefficients of surface heat and momentum fluxes, the inclusion of experiments with ice microphysics, and the consideration of weaker, but still mature tropical cyclones. In all experiments, the depression of the inflow layer ?e values is significant and all tropical cyclones exhibit the same general structural changes when interacting with the imposed vertical wind shear. Tropical cyclones in which strong downdrafts occur more frequently exhibit a more pronounced depression of inflow layer ?e outside of the eyewall in our experiments. The magnitude of the ?e depression underneath the eyewall early after shear is imposed in our experiments correlates well with the magnitude of the ensuing weakening of the respective tropical cyclone. Based on the evidence presented, it is concluded that the newly proposed framework is a robust description of intensity modification in our suite of experiments.
Riemer, M.; Montgomery, M. T.; Nicholls, M. E.
The climatology of flooding in urbanized watersheds in the eastern United States is largely the result of tropical cyclones and organized thunderstorm systems. Extreme rainfall from tropical storms drives the upper tail of flood risk in watersheds larger than about 25 km2. In this study, we couple a flood hazard assessment framework known as Stochastic Storm Transposition (SST) with a ten-year record of high-resolution (15-minute, 1 km2) radar rainfall fields developed using the Hydro-NEXRAD system to look at the frequency of intense rainfall from tropical storms and organized thunderstorms in Charlotte, North Carolina. Using the physics-based Gridded Surface Subsurface Hydrologic Analysis (GSSHA) modeling system, we have developed a detailed representation of the highly urbanized Little Sugar Creek watershed, including detailed land surface, subsurface, and drainage network properties. We use GSSHA to examine the frequency and intensity of extreme flooding resulting from tropical storms and organized thunderstorms at different spatial scales. In addition, we combine this flood hazard assessment framework with downscaled projections of future hurricane-season rainfall from the Zetac regional climate model to examine how projected changes in flood risk due to tropical storm rainfall may change in Charlotte and along the east coast of the United States throughout the 21st century. We demonstrate that the frequency of landfalling tropical storms in the eastern United States is not projected to change significantly from present conditions, but that the intensity of rainfall from these storms will increase by the late 21st century, with important implications for flooding in urban areas. Significant challenges remain, however, with the simulation of rainfall from landfalling tropical storms in climate models. Annual frequency of modeled tropical storm tracks passing within 500 km of a given point during the control period (1980-2006) and the CMIP5 late 21st century climate scenario.
Wright, D. B.; Smith, J. A.; Knutson, T. R.; Baeck, M. L.
For the accurate and effective forecasting of a cyclone, it is critical to have accurate initial structure of the cyclone in numerical models. In this study, Kolkata Doppler weather radar (DWR) data were assimilated for the numerical simulation of a land-falling Tropical Cyclone Aila (2009) in the Bay of Bengal. To study the impact of radar data on very short-range forecasting of a cyclone's path, intensity and precipitation, both reflectivity and radial velocity were assimilated into the weather research and forecasting (WRF) model through the ARPS data assimilation system (ADAS) and cloud analysis procedure. Numerical experiment results indicated that radar data assimilation significantly improved the simulated structure of Cyclone Aila. Strong influences on hydrometeor structures of the initial vortex and precipitation pattern were observed when radar reflectivity data was assimilated, but a relatively small impact was observed on the wind fields at all height levels. The assimilation of radar wind data significantly improved the prediction of divergence/convergence conditions over the cyclone's inner-core area, as well as its wind field in the low-to-middle troposphere (600-900 hPa), but relatively less impact was observed on analyzed moisture field. Maximum surface wind speed produced from DWR-Vr and DWR-ZVr data assimilation experiments were very close to real-time values. The impact of radar data, after final analysis, on minimum sea level pressure was relatively less because the ADAS system does not adjust for pressure due to the lack of pressure observations, and from not using a 3DVAR balance condition that includes pressure. The greatest impact of radar data on forecasting was realized when both reflectivity and wind data (DWR-ZVr and DWR-ZVr00 experiment) were assimilated. It is concluded that after final analysis, the center of the cyclone was relocated very close to the observed position, and simulated cyclone maintained its intensity for a longer duration. Using this analysis, different stages of the cyclone are better captured, and cyclone structure, intensification, direction of movement, speed and location are significantly improved when both radar reflectivity and wind data are assimilated. As compared to other experiments, the maximum reduction in track error was noticed in the DWR-ZVr and DWR-ZVr00 experiments, and the predicted track in these experiments was very close to the observed track. In the DWR-ZVr and DWR-ZVr00 experiments, rainfall pattern and amount of rainfall forecasts were remarkably improved and were similar to the observation over West Bengal, Orissa and Jharkhand; however, the rainfall over Meghalaya and Bangladesh was missed in all the experiments. The influence of radar data reduces beyond a 12-h forecast, due to the dominance of the flow from large-scale, global forecast system models. This study also demonstrates successful coupling of the data assimilation package ADAS with the WRF model for Indian DWR data.
Srivastava, Kuldeep; Bhardwaj, Rashmi
Tropical cyclone (TC)-ocean interactions are essential for cyclone formation and evolution. Surface cooling is observed in the cyclone wake and is expected to exert a negative feedback to the storm intensity. Its quantification is assessed with a coupled regional model of the southwest Pacific developed for present climate simulations at mesoscale resolution. The feedback of the ocean response is investigated for the first time by comparing 20-year forced and coupled experiments. This provides statistically robust experiments filling a gap between coarse-resolution and short-term studies. The intensity distribution is significantly affected but the SST feedback is of moderate amplitude (5-15 hPa/Celsius) compared with theoretical models. Our analysis contradicts the direct thermodynamic control of TC intensification by surface moisture fluxes in favor of a storm-scale dynamic control. In addition, regional oceanography strongly modulates TC-ocean coupling. It is stronger in the Coral Sea that has shallow mixed layer and numerous eddies but extremely weak in the warm pool that has deep mixed layer, thick barrier layer and no mesoscale activity. These pre-conditions to SST cooling impact the TC distribution.
Jullien, Swen; Marchesiello, Patrick; Menkes, Christophe; Lefevre, Jérôme; Jourdain, Nicolas; Lengaigne, Matthieu; Samson, Guillaume
Past studies have shown that surface chlorophyll-a concentrations increase in the wake of hurricanes. Given the reported increase in the intensity of North Atlantic hurricanes in recent years, increasing chlorophyll-a concentrations, perhaps an indication of increasing biological productivity, would be an expected consequence. However, in order to understand the impact of variable hurricane activity on ocean biology, the magnitude of the hurricane-induced chlorophyll increase relative to other events that stir or mix the upper ocean must be assessed. This study investigates the upper ocean biological response to tropical cyclones in the North Atlantic from 1997-2005. Specifically, we quantitatively compare the anomalous chlorophyll-a concentrations created by cyclone activity to the total distribution of anomalies in the subtropical waters. We show that the cyclone-induced chlorophyll-a increase has minimal impact on the integrated biomass budget, a result that holds even when taking into consideration the lagged and asymmetrical response of ocean color. Copyright 2008 by the American Geophysical Union.
Hanshaw, M. N.; Lozier, M. S.; Palter, J. B.
The frequency of tropical cyclones (TCs) in Taiwan during June to October (JJASO) is found to have a strong negative correlation with the Pacific/North American (PNA) pattern in the preceding April. In the negative PNA phase, the anomalous cyclonic and the anomalous anticyclonic circulations are intensified at low latitudes and midlatitudes from East Asia to the North Atlantic, respectively, from April to JJASO. Particularly in East Asia, the anomalous southeasterly that converges between the anomalous anticyclone to the east of Japan and the anomalous cyclone to the east of Taiwan plays a decisive role in moving TCs not only to Taiwan, but also to the midlatitude coastal regions of East Asia as a result of the steering flow. In addition, a southwestward extension of a western North Pacific (WNP) high during the positive PNA phase also contributed to a frequent movement of TCs to southern China without traveling north toward the midlatitude regions of East Asia. Due to the difference in the typical tracks of the TC in the WNP according to the PNA phase, the intensity of the TC in the negative PNA phase is stronger than that in the positive PNA phase.
Choi, Ki-Seon; Moon, Il-Ju
On February 2, 2011, Tropical Cyclone Yasi, the largest cyclone to cross the Australian coast and a system the size of Hurricane Katrina, threatened the city of Cairns. As a result, the Cairns Base Hospital (CBH) and Cairns Private Hospital (CPH) were both evacuated, the hospitals were closed, and an alternate emergency medical center was established in a sports stadium 15 km from the Cairns central business district. This article describes the events around the evacuation of 356 patients, staff, and relatives to Brisbane (approximately 1,700 km away by road), closure of the hospitals, and the provision of a temporary emergency medical center for 28 hours during the height of the cyclone. Our experience highlights the need for adequate and exercised hospital evacuation plans; the need for clear command and control with identified decision-makers; early decision-making on when to evacuate; having good communication systems with redundancy; ensuring that patients are adequately identified and tracked and have their medications and notes; ensuring adequate staff, medications, and oxygen for holding patients; and planning in detail the alternate medical facility safety and its role, function, and equipment. PMID:22978739
Little, Mark; Stone, Theona; Stone, Richard; Burns, Jan; Reeves, Jim; Cullen, Paul; Humble, Ian; Finn, Emmeline; Aitken, Peter; Elcock, Mark; Gillard, Noel
This reference describes the models used for forecasting hurricanes by the the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami, Florida, which issues 72-hour tropical cyclone track and intensity forecasts four times per day for all storms in the north Atlantic and eastern north Pacific east of 140 degrees west. The track forecasts are the storm latitude and longitude (to the nearest tenth of a degree) and the intensity forecasts are the 1-minute maximum sustained surface wind. There is information about the entities that maintain the models, which are the Tropical Prediction Center (TPC), National Center for Environmental Predictions (NCEP), and the Environmental Modeling Center (EMC). Nine track guidance models are explained along with four intensity guidance models. The site offers an explanation of model verification and tables that display average errors for the track and intensity models.
Utilizing Eliassen's concepts, the forcing of the isentropic azimuthally-averaged mass-weighted radial-vertical circulation by diabatic heating and torques within an extratropical cyclone and a typhoon was studied through numerical simulations based on the linear diagnostic equation derived previously. The structure of the forcing associated with diabatic heating and torques was determined from quasi-Lagrangian diagnostic analyses of actual case studies. The two cyclones studied were the Ohio extratropical cyclone of 25-27 January 1978 and typhoon Nancy of 18-23 September 1979. The Ohio cyclone, which formed over the Gulf Coast and moved through Ohio and eastern Michigan, was one of the most intense storms with blizzard conditions to ever occur in this region. Typhoon Nancy which occurred over the South China Sea during the FGGE year was selected since relatively high quality assimilated data were available. Within the Ohio cyclone, the dominant internal processes forcing the mean circulation with embedded relatively strong hydrodynamic stability were the pressure torque associated with baroclinic (asymmetric) structure and the horizontal eddy angular momentum transport associated with the typical S-shaped thermal and wind structures of self-development. Within typhoon Nancy, the dominant internal process forcing the mean circulation with embedded weak hydrodynamic stability was the latent heat release. This analysis shows that the simulated azimuthally-averaged mass-weighted radial motions within these two cyclones agree quite well with the “ observed? azimuthally-averaged mass-weighted radial motions. This isentropic numerical study also provides insight into the relatively important internal forcing processes and the trade off between forcing and stability within both extratropical and tropical cyclones.
Yuan, Zhuojian; Johnson, Donald R.
The Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System (RIMES), an international, intergovernmental organization based in Thailand is engaged in disaster risk reduction over the Asia-Pacific region through early warning information. In this paper, RIMES' customized Weather Research Forecast (WRF) model has been used to evaluate the simulations of cyclone Nargis which hit Myanmar on 2 May 2008, the most deadly severe weather event in the history of Myanmar. The model covers a domain of 35ºE to 145ºE in the east—west direction and 12ºS to 40ºN in the north—south direction in order to cover Asia and east Africa with a resolution of 9 km in the horizontal and 28 vertical levels. The initial and boundary conditions for the simulations were provided by the National Center for Environmental Prediction-Global Forecast System (NCEP-GFS) available at 1º lon/lat resolution. An attempt is being made to critically evaluate the simulation of cyclone Nargis by seven set of simulations in terms of track, intensity and landfall time of the cyclone. The seven sets of model simulations were initialized every 12 h starting from 0000 UTC 28 April to 01 May 2008. Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM) precipitation (mm) is used to evaluate the performance of the simulations of heavy rainfall associated with the tropical cyclone. The track and intensity of the simulated cyclone are compared by making use of Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) data sets. The results indicate that the landfall time, the distribution and intensity of the rainfall, pressure and wind field are well simulated as compared with the JTWC estimates. The average landfall track error for all seven simulations was 64 km with an average time error of about 5 h. The average intensity error of central pressure in all the simulations were found out to be approximately 6 hPa more than the JTWC estimates and in the case of wind, the simulations under predicted it by an average of 12 m s-1.
Raju, P. V. S.; Potty, Jayaraman; Mohanty, U. C.
The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) is a joint NASA/JAXA research mission launched in late 1997 to improve our knowledge of tropical rainfall processes and climatology (Kummerow et ai., 2000; Adler et ai., 2003). In addition to being a highly successful research mission, its data are available in real time and operational weather agencies in the U.S. and internationally are using TRMM data and images to monitor and forecast hazardous weather (tropical cyclones, floods, etc.). For example, in 2004 TRMM data were used 669 times for determining tropical cyclone location fixes (National Research Council, 2004). TRMM flies at a relatively low altitude, 400 km, and requires orbit adjustment maneuvers to maintain altitude against the small drag of the atmosphere. There is enough fuel used for these maneuvers remaining on TRMM for the satellite to continue flying until 2011-12. However, most of the remaining fuel may be used to perform a controlled re-entry of the satellite into the Pacific Ocean. The fuel threshold for this operation will be reached in the summer of 2005, although the maneuver would actually occur in late 2006 or 2007. The full science mission would end in 2005 under the controlled re-entry option. This re-entry option is related to the estimated probability of injury (1/5,000) that might occur during an uncontrolled re-entry of the satellite. If the estimated probability of injury exceeds 1/10,000 a satellite is a candidate for a possible controlled re-entry. In the TRMM case the NASA Safety Office examined the related issues and concluded that, although TRMM exceeded the formal threshold, the use of TRMM data in the monitoring and forecasting of hazardous weather gave a public safety benefit that compensated for TRMM slightly exceeding the orbital debris threshold (Martin, 2002). This conclusion was based in part on results of an independent panel during a workshop on benefits of TRMM data in concluded that the benefit of TRMM data in saving lives through its use in operational forecasting could not be quantified. The objective of this paper is to describe a possible technique to estimate the number of lives saved per year and apply it to the TRMM case and the use of its data in monitoring and forecasting tropical cyclones.
Adler, Robert F.
The most comprehensive and longest document-based time series of tropical cyclone activity for any area of the world is presented for the Atlantic and Caribbean region of the Lesser Antilles for the years 1690-2007. Newspaper accounts, ships' logbooks, meteorological journals, and other document sources were used to create this new data set, and a new methodology was applied for classifying historical tropical cyclone intensity. This compilation estimates the position and intensity of each tropical cyclone that passes through the 61.5°W meridian from the coast of South America northward through 25.0°N. The additional resources used here fills in gaps in the HURDAT record, which undercounts tropical storms and hurricanes by 28% (7%) in the years 1851-1898 (1899-1930) over populated islands from 12 to 18°N. The numbers of tropical cyclones show no trends that were significant at the 5% level. The time span 1968-1977 was probably the most inactive period since the islands were settled in the 1620s and 1630s.
Chenoweth, Michael; Divine, Dmitry
Tropical cyclones (TCs) impact coral reef ecology in various ways, they cool down ambient sea surface temperature (SST), damage coral reefs by wave action, decrease salinity, increase nutrients, and increase sedimentation rates on a reef. Here we present an investigation into the effect of TCs on coral bleaching and the effect TCs have on the occurrence of coral diseases. Coral bleaching, the condition where the symbiotic zooxanthellae leave the coral host, is one of the major threats to coral reefs. Bleaching occurs in anomalously warm waters, analysis of historical TC tracks show that TCs frequently occur near coral bleaching episodes. Intriguingly, TCs cool down sea surface temperature by vertical mixing and as SST is the most important factor in coral bleaching this phenomenon might have an impact on the duration, occurrence and the resulting coral mortality, of bleaching events. In recent literature a correlation has been seen in the power of tropical cyclones and average sea surface temperature, making the study of the effect of TCs on the ecology of reefs an urgent one. We will present case studies where a TCs occurred near bleaching episodes and a statistical analysis to quantify this effect. To do this we use historical cyclone track data, satellite SST data, and a dataset of reefs. But there are other TC effects on reefs that bear investigation. Because TCs occur near corals that experience thermal stress, the changes in the corals environment caused by TCs might be anomalously detrimental. For example, data suggests that corals, because they are stressed by increased sedimentation, are more vulnerable to disease and algal overgrowth after TC damage. Nutrients have been shown to increase the severity of coral diseases. With satellite data it can be shown that short-term events such as increased run-off due to tropical cyclones can be an important part of the distribution of pollutants and pathogens affecting reefs. Infectious diseases severely affect scleractinian corals. We compare a database of coral disease outbreaks and a database of historical hurricane tracks and quantify run-off using satellite data to investigate the hypothesis that TCs can contribute to the spread of coral diseases by run-off induced transport of sediment, nutrients, pollutants and pathogens to a reef.
van Hooidonk, R. J.; Huber, M.
The role of aerosols effect on two tropical cyclones over Bay of Bengal are investigated using a convection permitting model with two-moment mixed-phase bulk cloud microphysics scheme. The simulation results show the role of aerosol on the microphysical and dynamical properties of cloud and bring out the change in efficiency of the clouds in producing precipitation. The tracks of the TCs are hardly affected by the changing aerosol types, but the intensity exhibits significant sensitivity due to the change in aerosol contribution. It is also clearly seen from the analyses that higher heating in the middle troposphere within the cyclone center is in response to latent heat release as a consequence of greater graupel formation. Greater heating in the middle level is particularly noticeable for the clean aerosol regime which causes enhanced divergence in the upper level which, in turn, forces the lower level convergence. As a result, the cleaner aerosol perturbation is more unstable within the cyclone core and produces a more intense cyclone as compared to other two perturbations of aerosol. All these studies show the robustness of the concept of TC weakening by storm ingestion of high concentrations of CCN. The consistency of these model results gives us confidence in stating there is a high probability that ingestion of high CCN concentrations in a TC will lead to weakening of the storm but has little impact on storm direction. Moreover, as pollution is increasing over the Indian sub-continent, this study suggests pollution may be weakening TCs over the Bay of Bengal.
Hazra, Anupam; Mukhopadhyay, P.; Taraphdar, Sourav; Chen, J. P.; Cotton, William R.
Although the societal impact of a weather event increases with the rarity of the event, our current ability to assess extreme events and their impacts is limited by not only rarity but also by current model fidelity and a lack of understanding of the underlying physical processes. This challenge is driving fresh approaches to assess high-impact weather and climate. Recent lessons learned in modeling high-impact weather and climate are presented using the case of tropical cyclones as an illustrative example. Through examples using the Nested Regional Climate Model to dynamically downscale large-scale climate data the need to treat bias in the driving data is illustrated. Domain size, location, and resolution are also shown to be critical and should be guided by the need to: include relevant regional climate physical processes; resolve key impact parameters; and to accurately simulate the response to changes in external forcing. The notion of sufficient model resolution is introduced together with the added value in combining dynamical and statistical assessments to fill out the parent distribution of high-impact parameters. Finally, through the example of a tropical cyclone damage index, direct impact assessments are presented as powerful tools that distill complex datasets into concise statements on likely impact, and as highly effective communication devices. Capsule: "Combining dynamical modeling of high-impact weather using traditional regional climate models with statistical techniques allows for comprehensive sampling of the full distribution, uncertainty estimation, direct assessment of impacts, and increased confidence in future changes."
Done, James; Holland, Greg; Bruyere, Cindy; Leung, Lai-Yung R.; Suzuki-Parker, Asuka
This study has demonstrated that high-resolution scatterometer measurements in tropical cyclones and other high-marine surface wind regimes may be retrieved accurately for wind speeds up to about 35 mls (1-hour average at 10 m) when the scatterometer data are processed through a revised geophysical model function, and a spatial adaptive algorithm is applied which utilizes the fact that wind direction is so tightly constrained in tile inner core of severe marine storms that wind direction may be prescribed from conventional data. This potential is demonstrated through case studies with NSCAT data in a severe West Pacific Typhoon (Violet, 1996) and an intense North Atlantic hurricane (Lili, 1996). However, operational scatterometer winds from NSCAT and QuickScat in hurricanes and severe winter storms are biased low in winds above 25 m/s. We have developed an inverse model to specify the entire surface wind field about a tropical cyclone from operational QuickScat scatterometer measurements within 150 nm of a storm center with the restriction that only wind speeds up to 20 m/s are used until improved model function are introduced. The inverse model is used to specify the wind field over the entire life-cycle of Hurricane Floyd (1999) for use to drive an ocean wave model. The wind field compares very favorably with wind fields developed from the copious aircraft flight level winds obtained in this storm.
Cardone, Vincent J.; Cox, Andrew T.
An empirical analysis program, based on finding an optimal representation of the data, has been applied to 120 observations of twenty nine 1973 and 1974 North Pacific tropical cyclones. Each observation consists of a field of Nimbus-5 Electrically Scanning Microwave Radiometer (ESMR-5) radiation measurements at 267 grid points covering and surrounding the tropical cyclone plus nine other non-satellite derived descriptors. Forecast algorithms to estimate the maximum wind speed at 12, 24, 48 and 72 h after each observation were developed using three bases: the non-satellite-derived descriptors, the ESMR-5 radiation measurements, and the combination of the two data bases. Independent testing of these algorithms showed that the average error made by algorithms developed from all three bases was less than the average error made by the persistence 24, 48 and 72 h maximum wind speed forecast and less than the average errors made operationally by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) 48 and 72 h maximum wind speed forecasts. The algorithms developed from the ESMR-5 base alone outperformed the JTWC operational forecast for the 48 and 72 h maximum wind speed. Also, the ESMR-5 data base, when combined with the non-satellite base, produced algorithms that improved the 24 and 48 h maximum wind-speed forecast by as much as 10% and the 72 h maximum wind forecast by approximately 16% as compared to the forecast obtained from the algorithms developed from the non-satellite data base alone.
Hunter, Herbert E.; Rodgers, Edward B.; Shenk, William E.
During the 1975, 1976, and 1977, NOAA's National Environmental Satellite Service and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center conducted a cooperative program to determine the optimum resolution and frequency of satellite images for deriving winds to study and forecast tropical cyclones. Rapid scan images were obtained at 7.5 minute interval from SMS-2 for hurricane Eloise and cyclone Caroline, and at 3 minute intervals from GOES-1 for tropical storms Belle, Holly, and Anita. Cloud motions were derived from these images using the Atmospheric and Oceanographic Information Processing System. Winds that were derived from the movement of upper and lower tropospheric level clouds using rapid scan data were compared with the 15 and 30 minute interval data. Greater than 10 (5) times as many clouds could be tracked to obtain winds using 3 and 7.5 minute rapid scan images as when using 15 or 30 minute interval images. A few bright areas within the central dense overcast which appeared to be moving with the winds at low levels were tracked.
Rodgers, E.; Gentry, R. C.; Shenk, W. E.; Oliver, V.
Estimates are presented for the tropical cyclone activity expected for the 2010 North Atlantic basin hurricane season. It is anticipated that the 2010 season will be more active than the 2009 season, reflecting increased frequencies more akin to that of the current more active phase that has been in vogue since 1995. Averages (+/- 1 sd) during the current more active phase are 14.5+/-4.7, 7.8+/-3.2, 3.7+/-1.8, and 2+/- 2, respectively, for the number of tropical cyclones (NTC), the number of hurricanes (NH), the number of major hurricanes (NMH), and the number of United States (U.S.) land-falling hurricanes (NUSLFH). Based on the "usual" behavior of the 10-yma parametric first differences, one expects NTC = 19+/-2, NH = 14+/-2, NMH = 7+/-2, and NUSLFH = 4+/-2 for the 2010 hurricane season; however, based on the "best guess" 10-yma values of surface-air temperature at the Armagh Observatory (Northern Ireland) and the Oceanic Nino Index, one expects NTC > or equals 16, NH > or equals 14, NMH > or equals 7, and NUSLFH > or equals 6.
Wilson, Robert M.
The adjoint of a numerical weather prediction (NWP) model is a powerful tool for efficiently calculating the "sensitivity" of some function of the model forecast state with respect to small but otherwise arbitrary perturbations to the model state at earlier times. Physical interpretation of these sensitivity gradients for functions describing some phenomenon of dynamical interest allows the user to approach a variety of dynamical problems in atmospheric science from the perspective of the potential impact of small perturbations on the future development of that phenomenon; the integration of adjoint-derived sensitivity gradients as a dynamical tool for approaching these problems can be called dynamical sensitivity analysis. A methodology for dynamical sensitivity analysis is developed and applied to problems related to the steering and genesis of modeled tropical cyclones. Functions defining the steering and genesis of tropical cyclones are developed and tested, and sensitivity gradients of those functions with respect to model initial conditions are interpreted physically. Results indicate that regions of strong sensitivity tend to localize where small vorticity perturbations have the capacity to grow quickly and impact the future state of the model, such as regions of strong ascent and subsidence surrounding midlatitude troughs, or near zonal jets where upshear-tilted perturbations can grow barotropically. Consequences for dynamics and predictability of these events are discussed.
Hoover, Brett T.
There are now a substantial number of millennial scale records of tropical cyclones from a variety of locations globally. Some of these, such as those in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico, show patterns of long-term, generally intense, tropical cyclone (TC) behaviour that have been suggested to be due to either variations in ENSO or shifts in the position of the Atlantic High pressure system and the jet stream. Comparisons are made here of the sedimentary overwash records from the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean Basin with the overwash records from the north-west Pacific and beach ridge records from the south-west Pacific and south east Indian Ocean basins. There is a substantial degree of synchroneity in global intense TC behaviour over the past 3,000 to 5,000 years. One of the most striking aspects of these records is they all display extended alternating periods (centuries to millennia) of relative quiescence and heightened intense TC activity irrespective of both the resolution and type of long-term TC record. The cause(s) of this punctuated activity are at present difficult to identify but are likely exogenic in origin rather than due to an intrinsic aspect of the records or the methods used to derive them. The identification of punctuated global long-term TC behaviour is important for understanding future TC activity and for assessing risk to coastal communities.
Nott, Jonathan; Forsyth, Anthony
The Weather Research and Forecast (WRF) model is used to simulate the last eyewall replacement cycle (ERC) of Hurricane Katrina (2005) just before it's landfall in the Louisiana coastline. In this study, we pursue a complete understanding of the physics behind the secondary eyewall formation (SEF) in tropical cyclones. The simulation results show the occurrence of the early stages of an ERC in the simulated storm just before landfall. This confirms that with the appropriate set of physics parameterization schemes, grid spacing and initial conditions, the numerical model is able to reproduce ERCs on certain tropical cyclones with no data assimilation or extra data inputs. Strong updrafts are observed to converge in a ring outside the primary eyewall of Hurricane Katrina (2005) suggesting SEF during that period. The increase of divergence outside the primary eyewall with an outer-ring of convergence forming above the boundary layer can be part of the mechanisms that lead to SEF. Also, potential vorticity (PV) field is analyzed for its possible relationship with the development of the secondary eyewall. This detailed study of the pre-ERC events in the inner-core of Hurricane Katrina can build the foundations for testing some of the existing hypotheses for the development of secondary eyewalls leading to new ideas behind their formation.
Garcia-Rivera, J. M.; Lin, Y.
Tropical cyclone track is strongly controlled by the large-scale environmental circulation. In limited-area models (LAMs) driven by global analyses or forecasts through a conventional lateral boundary nesting approach, the global analyses are often distorted by the use of "sponge zone" or interpolation when they are passed into the LAM. In this study, a dynamical downscaling approach based on scale-selective data assimilation (SSDA) is applied to a limited-area numerical weather prediction model with emphasis on tropical cyclone track simulation. The idea of the SSDA approach is to drive the LAM not only from the lateral boundary but also from the model domain interior. The large-scale flow from global analyses or forecasts is assimilated into the regional model using 3-D variational data assimilation. The large-scale features in the LAM are thus constrained to follow the global analyses while allowing the regional model itself to develop the regional and small-scale characteristics. The results from the case study of Hurricane Katrina (2005) show that both large- and small-scale flows in the regional model benefited from the SSDA approach, leading to an improvement in the accuracy of storm track simulation when provided with an accurate large-scale circulation from global analyses. In addition, the SSDA procedure is shown to be an effective method to construct a nested-grid regional modeling system that reduces model sensitivity to model domain geometry and location.
Xie, Lian; Liu, Bin; Peng, Shiqiu
In June 2007, tropical Cyclone Gonu passed over an ocean observing system consisting of a deep autonomous mooring system in the northern Arabian Sea and a shallow cabled mooring system in the Sea of Oman. Gonu was the largest cyclone known to have occurred in the Arabian Sea and to strike the Arabian Peninsula. The instruments on the moorings continuously recorded water velocities, temperature, conductivity, pressure, dissolved oxygen (DO) and turbidity at multiple depths and at hourly intervals during the storm. Near-inertial oscillations at all moorings from thermocline to seafloor are coincident with the arrival of Gonu. Sub-inertial oscillations with periods of 2-10 day are recorded at the post-storm relaxation stage of Gonu, primarily in the thermocline of the deep array and at the onshore regions of the shallow array. These oscillations consist of warm, saline water masses, likely originating from the Persian Gulf. Prominent 12.7-day sub-inertial waves, measured at a station ˜300 km offshore, are bottom-intensified and have characteristics of baroclinic topographically trapped waves. Theoretical results from a topographically trapped wave model are in a good agreement with the observed 12.7-day waves at Murray Ridge. The wavelength of the 12.7-day waves is about 590 km calculated from the dispersion relationship. Further analysis suggests that a resonant standing wave is responsible for trapping the 12.7-day wave energy inside the Sea of Oman basin. The observational results reported here are the first measurements of deepwater responses to a tropical cyclone in the Sea of Oman/Arabian Sea. Our study demonstrates the utility of sustained monitoring for studying the impact of extreme weather events on the ocean.
Wang, Zhankun; DiMarco, Steven F.; Stössel, Marion M.; Zhang, Xiaoqian; Howard, Matthew K.; du Vall, Ken
The events leading up to the genesis of Tropical Cyclone (TC) Karl (2010) provides a unique opportunity to examine the continuing problem of understanding tropical cyclogenesis. The PRE-Depression Investigation of Cloud-systems in the Tropics (PREDICT) field campaign allowed for detailed investigation of the tropical disturbance that served as the precursor to TC Karl as it progressed westward through the Caribbean Sea. The purpose of this presentation is to examine the evolution of the pre-Karl disturbance using both common synoptic-scale analyses as well as statistically-based equatorial wave analyses, focusing on where these analyses complement and enhance each other. One of the major factors in the initial spin-up of the pre-Karl tropical disturbance is a surge of southerly and westerly winds from northern South America on 8-10 September 2010. As the surge entered the Caribbean on 9 September, it aided in the formation of a nearly closed earth-relative cyclonic circulation near the southern Leeward Islands. This circulation weakened late on 10 September and remained weak through 13 September before increased organization led to TC genesis on 14 September. This southerly wind surge can be traced to a well-defined surge of anomalously cold air and enhanced southerly winds originating in the lee of the Argentinian Andes over a week prior. While the temperature anomalies wash out prior to reaching the equator, anomalous low-level winds progress into Colombia and Venezuela, where topography aids in turning the southerly winds eastward. An investigation of the pre-Karl environment utilizing wavenumber-frequency filtering techniques also suggests that the initial spin-up of pre-Karl can be associated with the active phase of a convectively coupled Kelvin wave (CCKW). The observed formation of the nearly closed cyclonic circulation on 10 September is well timed with the passage of anomalous westerly winds along and behind the convectively active phase of a CCKW. These westerly wind anomalies have been associated with an increase in the frequency of TC genesis, commonly attributed to the generation of low-level cyclonic vorticity and a reduction in climatological shear over the western Atlantic by other researchers. Further, the total wind field associated with a CCKW promotes deep convection via the enhancement of low-level convergence and upper-level outflow ahead of the wave. The passage of the CCKW during 8-10 September occurs in concert with the aforementioned cold surge-related enhanced low-level southerly winds that turn eastward as they cross the equator, further strengthening the westerly wind anomalies associated with the CCKW. This favorable juxtaposition of low-level southerly and westerly flows results in the amplification of convective activity associated with the CCKW around the time the CCKW interacts with the pre-Karl disturbance and likely serves to enhance the resulting low-level cyclonic circulation, eventually leading to the genesis of TC Karl.
Griffin, K.; Bosart, L. F.
The present study investigates the influence of the monsoon trough (MT) on the interannual variability of tropical cyclone (TC) activity over the western North Pacific during July-November for the period 1979-2007. It is shown that the TC activity is closely related to the MT location. During the years when the MT extends eastward (retreats westward), more (less) TCs form within the southeastern quadrant of the western North Pacific. Such a relationship can be explained by the changes in tropical waves, such as mixed Rossby-gravity (MRG) waves and (tropical depression) TD-type disturbances, associated with the movement of the MT. An eastward extension of the MT coincides with enhanced TD-MRG type disturbances and a clear MRG-to-TD transition over the southeast quadrant of the western North Pacific. Such a transition is unclear during the years when the MT retreats westward. These waves associated with the eastern extension of the MT are favorable for TC genesis, while those associated with the westward retreat of the MT are not. Diagnosis of the barotropic energy conversion indicates that both the rotational and divergent components of the background flow change associated with MT are responsible for energy conversion from the mean flow to the TD-MRG perturbations. This is an important reason for the linkage between MT variability and TC genesis over the western North Pacific.
Wu, Liang; Huang, Ronghui; Wen, Zhiping
The depth and intensity of convective-scale "hot" towers in intensifying tropical disturbances has been hypothesized to play a role in tropical cyclogenesis via dynamic and thermodynamic feedbacks on the larger meso-to-synoptic scale circulation. In this investigation we investigate the role that widespread and/or intense lightning-producing convection (i.e., "electrically-hot towers") resident in African Easterly Waves (AEW) may play in tropical cyclogenesis over the eastern Atlantic Ocean. NCEP reanalysis data for the months of July to November for the years 2004, 2006, and 2007 are analyzed for the domain of 5° N - 15° N and 50° W - 30° E. Specifically, NCEP data for individual AEWs are partitioned into northerly, southerly, trough, and ridge phases using the 700 hPa meridional winds. Subsequently, information from National Hurricane Center storm reports were divided up into developing and non-developing waves (i.e. tropical cyclogenesis). Finally, composites were created of developing and non- developing waves using the NCEP variables, but with the inclusion of lightning flash count and infrared brightness temperature information. The Zeus and World Wide Lightning Location Network lightning data were used for the lightning information, and the IR brightness temperature data was extracted from the NASA global-merged infrared brightness temperature dataset. Results indicate that developing AEW composites have greater low-level positive vorticity (9.0E-06 s-1 vs. 4.5E-06 s-1), slightly greater upward vertical motion (-0.035 Pascals s-1 vs. -0.028 Pascals s-1), slightly higher upper-level divergence(2.5E-06 s-1 vs. 1.8E-06 s-1), a higher mid-level (i.e. 600 hPa) moisture anomaly (0.6 g kg-1 vs. -0.15 g kg-1), cooler average brightness temperatures (273.5K vs. 278.4K), and more lightning strikes (1018 vs. 641 strikes) when compared against the non-developing composites. These results collectively indicate that AEWs producing tropical cyclones may have increased convective activity- and in particular, convective activity producing more lightning. To complement the composite work, we are further investigating the degree to which the aforementioned behavior is observed in individual cases. Work is also proceeding to identify whether the higher lightning strike/cooler brightness temperature behavior in the AEW tropical cyclone-developing composites is the result of more widespread convection producing a larger frequency of lightning, or just a few more vertically developed and electrically-intense convective towers.
Leppert, K.; Petersen, W. A.; Williams, E.
A regional mesoscale multi-level primitive equation model is used to predict the landfall and structure of a tropical cyclone. Three areas of model sensitivity are addressed in this paper; (1) the horizontal resolution, which includes the representation of orography; (2) the impact of an improved representation of the distribution of land surface soil moisture on the landfall problem; and (3)
Ashu Dastoor; T. N. Krishnamurti
This study evaluates the impacts of tropical cyclones (TC) that made landfall in populated areas along the Pacific coast of Mexico, especially in the region of Bahia de Banderas. During the period of 1970-2010 and used a database of international natural disasters to identify impacts. Were more than 13 events during the reporting period, of which 10 are examined more precipitation accumulated and 6 that caused further damage to the affected population in these cases ranged from 5000 to more than 15 000 inhabitants. Strong winds and heavy rainfall in periods of one to three days were associated with property damage and loss of life. The results of the study indicate that excessive accumulations of rain and daily intensity are important factors connected with the occurrence of disasters in densely populated areas. Six of the first 10 Tropical Cyclone associated with major disasters occurred in conditions of El Niño and four neutral conditions. With the analysis of satellite images using GOES-10 in the IDV software maps were obtained in the coastal impacts of Banderas Bay and describes the main features of each meteorological phenomena. In which concludes that no tropical cyclone entered directly to the Banderas Bay region, but its effects were very relevant, taking into account the topography, land use change and the vulnerability of the region. Tropical Cyclones that have affected the region of Bay of Banderas
Hernandez, J. M.
During a four year study of rainfall, runoff and sediment yield in the Philippines, it has become increasingly apparent that tropical cyclones, which on average occur twice a year in this region, are indeed extreme events in terms of rainfall and discharge. It follows that they are also the events which erode and transport most sediment. However, it is extremely
S M WHITE
The response of tropical cyclones (TC) activity to global warming has not yet reached a clear consensus in the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2007) or in the recent scientific literature. Observed series are neither long nor reliable enough for a statistically significant detection and attribution of past TC trends, and coupled
Jean-François Royer; Fabrice Chauvin; Anne-Sophie Daloz
We introduce a parameterization of ocean mixing by tropical cyclones (TCs) into an Earth system model of intermediate complexity. The parameterization is based on previously published global budgets of TC-induced mixing derived from high-resolution satellite measurements of anomalous sea surface temperatures along storm tracks. Recognizing the caveats introduced, for example, by the simplified model structure, we find that the representation
Ryan L. Sriver; Marlos Goes; Michael E. Mann; Klaus Keller
Recent theoretical studies, based on vortex Rossby wave (VRW) dynamics, have established the impor- tance of the radial structure of the primary circulation in the response of tropical cyclone (TC)-like vortices to ambient vertical wind shear. Linear VRW theory suggests, in particular, that the degree of broadness of the primary circulation in the near-core region beyond the radius of maximum
Kevin J. Mallen; Michael T. Montgomery; Bin Wang
The approach of Tropical Cyclone Juliette to the Baja California Peninsula in September 2001 triggered at least 419 landslides. Most of the landslides were shallow slips and debris slides, of limited areal extent, which were converted rapidly into debris flows to be exported quickly out of the mountain areas towards the lowlands. Main factors affecting landslide occurrence were total storm rainfall and intensity, aspect, geology and vegetation association. Two processes can be distinguished as initiating slope failure. The first process is linked to failures in concave topography, where accumulation of rainfall from exposed bedrock slopes generated excess overland flow that aggregated to generate a 'fire hose' effect on the base of slopes, mobilizing regolith. A second process involved a combination of wind and excess overland flow developed in the more convex or planar upper slopes, where heterogeneous regolith has formed in time following successional changes in vegetation associations along the oak-dry tropical forest ecotone. In this area, wind uprooted trees that dislodged large regolith and bedrock blocks, priming hillslopes for further runoff concentration. From the analysis of historical information, an estimative threshold curve for triggering landslides in this region is sketched. It was also determined that storms like Juliette approach the southern peninsula on average once every 100 years. Denudation estimates are in the higher end of the spectrum for a tectonically passive margin. These estimates should be considered when taking decisions regarding management of water resources in this area through damming of streams. The results emphasize the need for a more detailed representation of the spatial distribution of the rainfall and winds for this mountainous region frequently affected by the passage of tropical cyclones.
Antinao, J.; Farfan, L.
The Tropical Cloud Systems and Processes (TCSP) experiment in July 2005 was conducted to investigate the genesis and intensification of tropical cyclones in the Caribbean and eastern Pacific. A full range of thermodynamic, radiative and kinematic process scales involved in the early evolution of these storms, ranging from the microphysical through the synoptic, have potential to influence the development and evolution of tropical cyclones and hurricanes. Hurricane formation and behavior is a multi-scale problem: The hurricane vortex is hundreds of miles in horizontal scale, while the embedded convective clouds are on the order of one mile (cloud scale). Our study is focused on the role of interactions between tropospheric aerosols and clouds. These interactions are addressed with an Explicit Microphysics Model (EMM) and with relevant in situ field data from July 2005 cases. There is no aerosol data from TCSP but from the GFDL atmospheric model with on-line aerosols. To compensate for this lack of in-situ measurements, the simulated aerosol properties (size distribution, mass column, optical thickness) are evaluated with data from ground-based and remote sensing instruments. EMM has the unique capability of predicting particle properties (shape, bulk density, size) without categorization assumptions and to predict the particle size distributions. Model simulations illustrate the linkage between aerosol and ice particle properties in cirrus, and sensitivity to ambient conditions. Particular focus is given to the competition between the homogeneous freezing of aerosol and that of cloud-droplets. Such results are relevant for improving the representation of microphysical processes in cloud resolving models, hurricane, and in climate models.
Andronache, C.; Phillips, V.; Ginoux, P.
The Aeroclipper is a new balloon device designed to perform relatively long flights (up to 30 days) in the surface layer (under 50 m) over remote ocean regions. The balloon carries a guide rope floating at the surface of the ocean. The Aeroclipper moves on quasi-Lagrangian trajectories, performing in situ measurements in the atmospheric surface layer and at the surface of the ocean. The Aeroclipper is able to measure low level dynamics and surface turbulent fluxes for several weeks over remote regions of the tropical oceans. Like superpressure balloons in the boundary layer, an Aeroclipper is attracted toward convective regions by the low-level wind convergence generated by the associated low surface pressure. Compared to Eulerian platforms (moored buoys) or to oceanographic ships, these balloons are thus expected to increase atmospheric boundary layer sampling in active convective systems. During the Validation of the Aeroclipper System under Convective Occurrences (VASCO) test experiment (Indian Ocean in January and February 2007), two Aeroclippers survived in tropical cyclone Dora, enduring wind speed larger than 40 ms-1 and giving continuous estimates of tangential and radial winds as a function of the distance from the eye during the convergence phase. The two Aeroclippers then stayed in the eye of Dora for more than a week and remained captured in the low-pressure center when Dora became an extra-tropical depression. Due to this success in mechanical design, and despite some deficiencies of the present system that require new developments, we think that such a device has a good potential for further use, especially for cyclone nowcasting. The scientific objectives of the Aeroclipper; its current design and instrumentation; some preliminary results of the VASCO test experiment; and future experiments will be presented.
Philippe, Duvel Jean
We have produced a comprehensive set of tropical cyclone storm wind retrieval scenes for all ten years of QuikSCAT data and one year of OceanSAT-2 data. The wind speeds were corrected for rain and optimized to avoid saturation at high winds using an artificial neural network method similar to that in  and . The QuikSCAT wind imagery and the quantitative speed, direction, and backscatter data can be obtained at http://tropicalcyclone.jpl.nasa.gov. The QuikSCAT wind speeds have been validated against best track intensity (i.e., maximum wind speeds), H*WIND tropical cyclone wind model analysis fields, and wind speeds from aircraft overflights (GPS drop wind sondes and step frequency microwave radiometer (SFMR) wind measurements). Storms from all basins are included for a total of 21600 scenes over the ten years of nominal QuikSCAT operations. Of these, 11435 scenes include the best track center of the cyclone in the retrieved wind field. Among these, 3295 were of tropical storms and 788, 367, 330, 289, and 55 were of category 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 hurricanes, respectively, on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. In addition to the QuikSCAT hurricane winds, we have also processed one year of wind fields from the Indian Space Research organization (ISRO) OceanSAT-2 satellite. OceanSAT-2 employs a scanning pencil beam Ku-band scatterometer with a design similar to QuikSCAT. JPL and NOAA have been working extensively with ISRO to aid in cross calibration between OceanSAT-2 and QuikSCAT. Toward this end the QuikSCAT instrument has been repointed in order to acquire data at the OceanSAT-2 incidence angles, and several meetings in India between the teams have taken place. The neural network that was trained on QuikSCAT data was used to retrieve OceanSAT-2 winds. The backscatter inputs to the network were transformed to match the histograms of the corresponding values in the QuikSCAT data set. We examine the scatterometer winds to investigate the relationship between asymmetry in the wind fields and cyclone intensity. In particular, we estimate the typical storm relative wind speed distribution as a function of storm intensity, intensification (max wind speed change), and geographical location. The goal of this investigation is to determine whether or not asymmetry in the speed distribution correlates with storm intensification. References:  B. W. Stiles and R.S. Dunbar, "A Neural Network Technique For Improving The Accuracy Of Scatterometer Winds In Rainy Conditions." IEEE TGARS, Vol 48 , No. 8, P 3114-3122, August 2010.  B. W Stiles, S. Hristova-Veleva, et al, "Obtaining Accurate Ocean Surface Winds In Hurricane Conditions: A Dual Frequency Scatterometry Approach," IEEE TGARS, Vol 48 , No. 8, P 3101-3113, August 2010. Acknowledgement: The work reported here was performed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, and at the National Hurricane Center under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. We would like to thank the Indian Space Research Organization for providing the OceanSAT-2 scatterometer data that we used to determine tropical cyclone winds.
Stiles, B. W.; Danielson, R. E.; Poulsen, W. L.; Fore, A.; Brennan, M. J.; Shen, T. J.; Hristova-Veleva, S. M.
Applied research is proposed with the following objectives: (i) to determine the most likely level of tropical cyclone intensity and frequency in future climate regimes, (ii) to provide a quantitative measure of uncertainty in these predictions, and (iii) to improve understanding of the linkage between tropical cyclones and the planetary-scale circulation. Current mesoscale weather forecasting models, such as the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model, are capable of simulating the full intensity of tropical cyclones (TC) with realistic structures. However, in order to accurately represent both the primary and secondary circulations in these systems, model simulations must be configured with sufficient resolution to explicitly represent convection (omitting the convective parameterization scheme). Most previous numerical studies of TC activity at seasonal and longer time scales have not utilized such explicit convection (EC) model runs. Here, we propose to employ the moving nest capability of WRF to optimally represent TC activity on a seasonal scale using a downscaling approach. The statistical results of a suite of these high-resolution TC simulations will yield a realistic representation of TC intensity on a seasonal basis, while at the same time allowing analysis of the feedback that TCs exert on the larger-scale climate system. Experiments will be driven with analyzed lateral boundary conditions for several recent Atlantic seasons, spanning a range of activity levels and TC track patterns. Results of the ensemble of WRF simulations will then be compared to analyzed TC data in order to determine the extent to which this modeling setup can reproduce recent levels of TC activity. Next, the boundary conditions (sea-surface temperature, tropopause height, and thermal/moisture profiles) from the recent seasons will be altered in a manner consistent with various future GCM/RCM scenarios, but that preserves the large-scale shear and incipient disturbance activity. This will allow (i) a direct comparison of future TC activity that could be expected for an active or inactive season in an altered climate regime, and (ii) a measure of the level of uncertainty and variability in TC activity resulting from different carbon emission scenarios.
the first intentional acquisition of GPS signals reflected from water bodies, one of the objectives which has driven the research is to determine whether the acquired signal can provide useful geophysical information about the reflecting surface. One obvious condition of considerable interest is ocean surface wind speed. Theory suggested that the reflection technique, a form of bistatic RADAR, would be sensitive to surface roughness which in turn is driven by wind speed. This paper reports the results derived from data acquired over the past decade of applying the GPS reflection technique to ocean surface winds, particularly ocean surface winds in tropical cyclones. Examples of wind speed retrievals will be given for some illustrative cases of hurricanes and tropical storms. The results from several hurricanes and tropical storms on how the signal was calibrated will be presented. In addition, a quantitative comparison will be given between dropsondes deployed by NOAA during the storms and GPS reflection derived wind speeds taken at the same time. Conditions in which the GPS technique offers excellent comparisons as well as examples where the comparison is not so good will be presented. Suggestions will be given as to when the GPS technique can be used with confidence and when it is likely to be at variance with other methods.
Katzberg, Stephen J.; Dunion, Jason; Ganoe, George G.
Hydroclimatic variability is one of several potential threats to water security, defined as sustainable quantities and qualities of water for resilient societies and ecosystems in the face of uncertain global environmental change. Other threats can stem from human dimensions of global change, e.g., long-distance trade of water-intensive agricultural commodities or pollution resulting from industrial production and mining in response to rising global market demand. Drought and water scarcity are considered the principal, chronic, hydroclimatic drivers of water insecurity in arid and semi-arid regions. In these conditions, however, rainfall is both the water-supply lifeline and, in extreme events, the cause of flood hazard. In this study, we consider the monsoon-dominated Pacific coast of Mexico and assess the human impacts from tropical cyclone landfall over the past four decades (1970-2010). Storm data from the U.S. National Hurricane Center, rainfall reports from Mexico's National Meteorological Service, and indicators from an international disaster database at Belgium's Université Catholique de Louvain are used to assess the impacts of more than 30 landfall events. For the ten events with the greatest population impact, between 20,000 to 800,000 people were affected by each landfalling cyclone. Strong winds and heavy rainfall, particularly when sustained over periods of 1-3 days, result in significant property damage and loss of life. Results indicate that, in densely populated areas, excessive rainfall accumulations and high daily rates are important causes of cyclone disasters. Strengthening water security associated with extreme events requires planning via structured exchanges between scientists and decision-makers. Adaptive management that accounts for uncertainties, initiates responses, and iteratively assesses outcomes is the thrust of an emerging water-security initiative for the arid Americas that seeks to strengthen water security in northwestern Mexico.Norbert Impacts in Alamos, Sonora, 12 Oct. 2008
Scott, C. A.; Farfan, L.
Multi-camera stereo imaging of cloud features from the MISR (Multiangle Imaging SpectroRadiometer) instrument on NASA's Terra satellite provides accurate and precise measurements of cloud top heights (CTH) and cloud motion vector (CMV) winds. MISR observes each cloudy scene from nine viewing angles (Nadir, +/-26(sup o), +/-46(sup o), +/-60(sup o), +/-70(sup o)) with approximatel 275-m pixel resolution. This paper provides an update on MISR CMV and CTH algorithm improvements, and explores a high-resolution retrieval of tangential winds inside the eyewall of tropical cyclones (TC). The MISR CMV and CTH retrievals from the updated algorithm are significantly improved in terms of spatial coverage and systematic errors. A new product, the 1.1-km cross-track wind, provides high accuracy and precision in measuring convective outflows. Preliminary results obtained from the 1.1-km tangential wind retrieval inside the TC eyewall show that the inner-core rotation is often faster near the eyewall, and this faster rotation appears to be related linearly to cyclone intensity.
Wu, Dong L.; Diner, David J.; Garay, Michael J; Jovanovic, Veljko M.; Lee, Jae N.; Moroney, Catherine M.; Mueller, Kevin J.; Nelson, David L.
The spatial and temporal complexity of tropical cyclones (TCs) raises a number of scientific questions regarding their genesis, movement, intensification, and variability. In this dissertation, the principal goal is to determine the current state of predictability for each of these processes using global numerical prediction systems. The predictability findings are then used in conjunction with several new statistical calibration techniques to develop a proof-of-concept, operational forecast system for North Atlantic TCs on daily to intraseasonal time scales. To quantify the current extent of tropical cyclone predictability, we assess probabilistic forecasts from the most advanced global numerical weather prediction system to date, the ECMWF Variable Resolution Ensemble Prediction System (VarEPS; Hamill et al. 2008, Hagedorn et al. 2012). Using a new false alarm clustering technique to maximize the utility of the VarEPS, the ensemble system is shown to provide well-calibrated probabilistic forecasts for TC genesis through a lead-time of one week and pregenesis track forecasts with similar skill compared to the VarEPS's postgenesis track forecasts. These findings provide evidence that skillful real-time TC genesis predictions may be made in the North Indian Ocean—a region that even today has limited forecast warning windows for TCs relative to other ocean basins. To quantify the predictability of TCs on intraseasonal time scales, forecasts from the ECMWF Monthly Forecast System (ECMFS) are examined for the North Atlantic Ocean. From this assessment, dynamically based forecasts from the ECMFS provide forecast skill exceeding climatology out to weeks three and four for portions of the southern Gulf of Mexico, western Caribbean and the Main Development Region. Forecast skill in these regions is traced to the model's ability to capture correctly the variability in deep-layer vertical wind shear as well as the relative frequency of easterly waves moving through these regions. Following the TC predictability studies, a proof-of-concept operational forecast system for North Atlantic TCs is presented for daily to intraseasonal time scales. Findings from the predictability studies are used in conjunction with recently developed forecast calibration techniques to render the VarEPS and ECMFS forecasts more useful in an operational setting. The proposed combination of bias-calibrated regional probabilistic forecast guidance along with objectively-defined measures of confidence is a new way of providing TC forecasts on intraseasonal time scales. On interannual time scales, the predictability of TCs is examined by considering their relationship with tropical Atlantic easterly waves. First, a set of easterly wave climatologies for the Climate Forecast System-Reanalysis, ERA-Interim, ERA-40, and NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis are developed using a new easterly wave tracking algorithm based on 700 hPa curvature relative vorticity anomalies. From the reanalysis-derived easterly wave climatologies, a moderately positive and statistically significant relationship is seen with tropical Atlantic TCs, suggesting that approximately 20-30% of the total variance in the number of TCs on interannual time scales may be explained by the frequency of easterly waves. In relation to large-scale climate modes, the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) and Atlantic Meridional Mode (AMM) exhibit the strongest positive covariability with Atlantic easterly wave frequency. Besides changes in the number of easterly waves, the intensification efficiency of easterly waves, which is the percentage of waves that induce North Atlantic TC formation, has also been evaluated. These findings offer a plausible physical explanation for the recent increase in the number of NATL TCs, as it has been concomitant with an increasing trend in both the number of tropical Atlantic easterly waves and intensification efficiency. In addition, the easterly wave-tropical cyclone pathway is likely an important mechanism governing how the AMO and AMM modulate North Atlantic TC frequency—more
Belanger, James Ian
In the last few years an object-based analysis software tool was developed at University of Ljubljana in collaboration with National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). The tool was originally based on ideas of the Method for Object-Based Diagnostic Evaluation (MODE) developed by NCAR but has since evolved and changed considerably and is now available as a separate free software package. The software is called the Forward in Time object analysis tool (FiT tool). The software was used to analyze numerous datasets - mainly focusing on precipitation. Climatology of satellite and model precipitation in the low-and-mid latitude Pacific Ocean was performed by identifying and tracking of individual perception systems and estimating their lifespan, movement and size. A global climatology of tropical cyclone precipitation was performed using satellite data and tracking and analysis of areas with hail in Slovenia was performed using radar data. The tool will be presented along with some results of applications.
Skok, Gregor; Rakovec, Jože; Strajnar, Benedikt; Bacmeister, Julio; Tribbia, Joe
A dataset of tropical cyclone landfall numbers in the Philippines (TLP) is created from a combination of historical observation records of the Monthly Bulletins of Philippine Weather Bureau and Joint Warning Typhoon Center best-track data for the period of 1902 to 2005. Interdecadal variability of TLP is found to be related to different phases of the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). The annual TLP has an apparent oscillation of about 32 years before 1939 and an oscillation of about 10-22 years after 1945. No long-term trend is found. During the low PDO phase, the annual TLP decreases (increases) significantly in El Niño (La Niña) years. During high PDO phase, however, the difference in annual TLP between different ENSO phases becomes unclear. These results suggest that natural variability related to ENSO and PDO phases appears to prevail in the interdecadal variability of TLP.
Kubota, Hisayuki; Chan, Johnny C. L.
The postmonsoon (October-November) tropical cyclone (TC) season in the Bay of Bengal (BoB) has spawned many of the deadliest storms in recorded history. Here it is shown that the intensity of major TCs (wind speed > 49 m s-1) in the postmonsoon BoB increased during 1981-2010. It is found that changes in environmental parameters are responsible for the observed increases in TC intensity. Increases in sea surface temperature and upper ocean heat content made the ocean more conducive to TC intensification, while enhanced convective instability made the atmosphere more favorable for the growth of TCs. The largest changes in the atmosphere and ocean occurred in the eastern BoB, where nearly all major TCs form. These changes are part of positive linear trends, suggesting that the intensity of postmonsoon BoB TCs may continue to increase in the future.
Balaguru, Karthik; Taraphdar, Sourav; Leung, L. Ruby; Foltz, Gregory R.
This study applies the C4.5 algorithm to classify tropical cyclone (TC) intensity change in the western North Pacific. The 24 h change in TC intensity (i.e., intensifying and weakening) is regarded as a binary classification problem. A decision tree, with three variables and five leaf nodes, is built by the C4.5 algorithm. The variables include intensification potential (maximum potential intensity minus current intensity), previous 12 h intensity change, and zonal wind shear. All five rules, discovered from the tree by forming a path from the root node to each leaf node, can be interpreted by theories on TC intensification. Data mining results identify a predictor set (i.e., the mined rules) with high classification accuracy. The present study suggests that this data mining approach can shed some light on investigating TC intensity change processes and therefore has the potential to improve the forecasting of TC intensity.
Zhang, Wei; Gao, Si; Chen, Bin; Cao, Kai
Tropical cyclones exhibit significant variability in their structure, especially in terms of size and asymmetric structures. The variations can influence subsequent evolution in the storm as well as its environmental impacts and play an important role in forecasting. This study uses the Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting Experimental System (HWRFx) to investigate the horizontal and vertical structure of tropical cyclones. Five real data HWRFx model simulations from the 2005 Atlantic tropical cyclone season (two of Hurricanes Emily and Wilma, and one of Hurricane Katrina) are used. Horizontal structure is investigated via several methods: the decomposition of the integrated kinetic energy field into wavenumber space, composite analysis of the wind fields, and azimuthal wavenumber decomposition of the tangential wind field. Additionally, a spatial and temporal decomposition of the vorticity field to study the vortex Rossby wave contribution to storm asymmetries with an emphasis on azimuthal wavenumber-2 features is completed. Spectral decomposition shows that the average low level kinetic energy in azimuthal wavenumbers 0, 1 and 2 are 92%, 6%, and 1.5% of the total kinetic energy. The kinetic energy in higher wavenumbers is much smaller. Analysis also shows that the low level kinetic energy wavenumber 1 and 2 components can vary between 0.3--36.3% and 0.1--14.1% of the total kinetic energy, respectively. The asymmetries associated with storm motion, environmental shear, and the relative orientation of these vectors are examined. A composite analysis shows a dominant wavenumber-1 asymmetry associated with the storm motion and shear vectors. For storm motion the asymmetry is located in the right front quadrant relative to the motion vector with a magnitude exceeding 2.5 m/s, and for shear the asymmetry is located 90° left of the shear vector with a magnitude exceeding 5 m/s. The locations of these wavenumber-1 asymmetries are consistent with the findings of previous studies. Further composite analysis of the asymmetries associated with the relative orientation of the storm motion and shear vectors reveals that when the vectors are aligned versus opposed the wavenumber-1 asymmetries have roughly equivalent magnitude but very different azimuthal location (when aligned the maximum is located in the left front quadrant relative to the storm motion, and when opposed is located nearly 90° to the right of the storm motion). The magnitude of the wavenumber-2 asymmetries is much larger when the storm motion and shear vectors are aligned (exceeding 2.5 m/s) than when they are opposed (˜0.5 m/s). The results indicate that shear induced asymmetries extend more deeply through the troposphere than storm motion induced asymmetries. Furthermore, the vortex Rossby wave analysis provides compelling evidence to support their existence and their contribution to the wavenumber-2 asymmetries in the simulated storms. The vertical structure is studied in terms of the relationship between the size of the radius of maximum wind and its slope, and whether the radius of maximum wind is well approximated by a constant absolute angular momentum surface. The impacts of environmental shear on these relationships are specifically examined. While there is some evidence to suggest that moderate shear can have a constructive influence on the storm, the relationships between the radius of maximum wind and its slope, and the slopes of the radius of maximum wind and the constant absolute angular momentum surface deteriorate quickly with increasing shear. The vertical warm core structure of the tropical cyclones is investigated in terms of the height and magnitude of the primary and any possible secondary warm core features (as measured in terms of the temperature anomalies). The purpose of this analysis is to determine the general warm core structure and establish if there are any significant trends with respect to storm evolution, environmental shear, or storm intensity change. It is determined that there is often a dual warm core structure with a pri
Maclay, Katherine S.
The numerical study presented here focuses on baroclinic processes that contribute to tropical cyclone (TC) propagation. A three-dimensional, semispectral, primitive equation model of baroclinic vortex was developed to study TC motion.In a tilted vortex, interaction between upper- and lower-level vorticity anomalies leads to vortex propagation relative to the steering flow. On a, plane, with no environmental flow, the vortex is tilted toward the south and the interaction between the layers reduces the westward movement of the vortex. The vortex tilting can also occur due to the vertical shear in the environmental wind. On an f plane, the interaction between the layers causes the northward movement of the vortex in westerly linear shear, and southward movement in easterly linear shear, with a meridional velocity of about 1 m s1. Ibis velocity increases with increasing vortex intensity and vertical motion.
Flatau, Maria; Schubert, Wayne H.; Stevens, Duane E.
It is well recognized that the numerical forecasting of the intensity of tropical cyclones (TCs) is much more difficult than the forecasting of the TC tracks. The methods of parameterizing unresolved processes in numerical simulations have critical impacts on the evolution and intensity of the simulated TCs. Although at present the cumulus parameterization schemes are a critical issue in the numerical forecasting of TCs, the turbulence mixing parameterization will be more important in the TC forecasting at the resolution of O(1 km) or finer in the near future. Therefore, it is important to deepen the basic understandings of the evolution and structure of the simulated TCs at the O(1 km) resolution. This study investigates the sensitivity of the simulated TCs to turbulence (or subgrid-scale) mixing. The Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model is used to perform three-dimensional numerical simulations of TCs under an idealized environmental condition and with simplified model settings. The base-state environmental atmosphere is horizontally uniform with the vertical thermodynamic profiles being given by the Jordan (1958) sounding and with no initial winds. The model settings are determined basically by the Rotunno and Emanuel (1987) approach in their axisymmetric numerical simulations. The turbulence mixing is parameterized by the Smagorinsky-Lilly model (Lilly 1962) or by the formulation using the prognostic equation of turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) (Deardorff 1980). In the present numerical experiments, the model constant (so called the Smagorinsky constant, 0.25 as a standard value) is systematically changed in a wide range from the standard value. At the resolution of O(1 km) (and probably even O(100 m)), there is no theoretical background in choosing the value of the Smagorinsky constant. In addition, some of the boundary-layer schemes implemented in the WRF model are also examined. Thus, the examination of the sensitivity of the simulated TCs to the Smagorinsky constant should provide useful implications to the modeling of turbulence processes in numerical forecasting of TCs. From the comparison between the results with the different values of the Smagorinsky constant in terms of central pressure, the simulated TC shows an earlier development, more rapid rate of intensification, and deeper central pressure with a smaller value of the Smagorinsky constant. The radius of maximum wind evaluated at the 1-km height becomes smaller with a smaller value of the constant. With a smaller value of the constant, the secondary circulation, i.e., low-level inflow and upper level outflow, becomes more strengthened. An interesting feature is that with a smaller constant value, outward flow just above the low-level inflow becomes evident; this is considered to reflect the structural change of TC that has super-gradient flow at the low levels. As expected, a smaller value of the constant produces smaller values of turbulent diffusion coefficients, and the regions with non-zero turbulent diffusion is limited to the inflow layer. This feature indicates that turbulent diffusion, specifically in the horizontal directions, plays a significant role in controlling the structure and evolution of the simulated TCs and hence the steady-state intensity of the TCs.
The southwestern Indian Ocean (SWIO) is characterized by significant climate variability and frequent tropical cyclones (TC). Year-to-year fluctuations of TC and associated oceanic and atmospheric fields in the period 1961-2002 are studied with reanalysis data as composites and cross-correlations, with wavelet filtering and cross-modulus analysis, and by hovmoller analysis and multi-variate statistical modeling. Observational limitations in the early part of the record are recognized. An intense TC-days index is formed and is characterized by quasi-biennial to decadal cycles that relate to ocean Rossby waves and high latitude atmospheric circulations, respectively. New variables are uncovered that significantly improve the seasonal prediction of SWIO TC. One predictor is the geopotential height in the SE Pacific, which explains 31% of SWIO TC variability. It foretells of downstream oscillations in the sub-tropical jet stream, which govern wind shear, an equatorial duct and attendant circulation anomalies over the SWIO. An anti-phase association between Amazon convection and intense TCs is found to be related to the Atlantic Zonal Circulation. Drought across the Amazon is related to an increase in TC activity in the SWIO, when zonal wind anomalies over the Atlantic become upper easterly/lower westerly. This feature is related to Pacific Ocean El Niño Southern Oscillation phase. A La Niña signal favors TC development through a westward propagating cyclonic circulation and downweling Rossby wave in the South Indian Ocean that enhances thermodynamic energy. It is recommended to repeat this analysis every few years to determine whether teleconnections evolve due to climate drift or improving observations.
Chang-Seng, Denis S.; Jury, Mark R.
The rainfall climatology and persistence model (R-CLIPER) used operationally in the Atlantic Ocean basin mainly utilizes tropical cyclone (TC) intensity to predict TC rainfall. However, the rain production by TCs is also influenced by environmental parameters such as total moisture availability, horizontal moisture convergence, vertical wind shear, and sea surface temperature (SST). Previous TC case studies have used environmental moisture parameters to diagnose TC rainfall. In this study, we composite over 3000 snapshots of 3-hourly TRMM 3B42 rainfall fields for Atlantic landfalling tropical cyclones between 1998-2006 to analyze the rainfall distribution and storm total volumetric rain as a function of total precipitable water (TPW), horizontal moisture convergence (HMC), and ocean surface flux (OSF) over land and over ocean. For over ocean conditions, higher TPW, HMC, or OSF values are associated with higher azimuthally averaged rain rates. Over land, this is still the case but less obvious. Computing the linear correlation coefficients between total volumetric rain and moisture parameters shows this fact much more clearly. These coefficients are generally higher for over ocean conditions than those for over land conditions. To test if moisture parameters can provide additional information other than TC intensity to help TC rainfall forecasts, a multiple linear regression is performed between TC volumetric rain and several variables including TC maximum wind speed, TPW, HMC, and OSF. By adding moisture parameters as additional variables, TC volumetric rain will be better predicted than using TC intensity (maximum wind speed) only. The correlation coefficient between volumetric rain and maximum wind speed can increase from 0.52 (0.51) to 0.67 (0.65) for over ocean (land) conditions by adding TPW, HMC and OSF. By adding TPW only, the correlation coefficient increases to 0.59 and 0.64 for over ocean and land, respectively.
Jiang, Haiyan; Halverson, Jeffrey B.; Zipser, Edward J.
A limited-area primitive equation model is used to study the role of the ?-effect and a uniform current on tropical cyclone (TC) intensity. It is found that TC intensity is reduced in a non-quiescent environment compared with the case of no uniform current. On an f-plane, the rate of intensification of a tropical cyclone is larger than that of the uniform flow. A TC on a ?-plane intensifies slower than one on an f-plane. The main physical characteristic that distinguishes the experiments is the asymmetric thermodynamic (including convective) and dynamic structures present when either a uniform flow or ?-effect is introduced. But a fairly symmetric TC structure is simulated on an f-plane. The magnitude of the warm core and the associated subsidence are found to be responsible for such simulated intensity changes. On an f-plane, the convection tends to be symmetric, which results in strong upper-level convergence near the center and hence strong forced subsidence and a very warm core. On the other hand, horizontal advection of temperature cancels part of the adiabatic heating and results in less warming of the core, and hence the TC is not as intense. This advective process is due to the tilt of the vortex as a result of the ?-effect. A similar situation occurs in the presence of a uniform flow. Thus, the asymmetric horizontal advection of temperature plays an important role in the temperature distribution. Dynamically, the asymmetric angular momentum (AM) flux is very small on an f-plane throughout the troposphere. However, the total AM exports at the upper levels for a TC either on a ?-plane or with a uniform flow environment are larger because of an increase of the asymmetric as well as symmetric AM export on the plane at radii >450 km, and hence there is a lesser intensification.
Duan, Yihong; Wu, Rongsheng; Yu, Hui; Liang, Xudong; Chan, Johnny C. L.
A global transformation is being fueled by unprecedented growth in the quality, quantity, and number of different parameters in environmental data through the convergence of several technological advances in data collection and modeling. Although these data hold great potential for helping us understand many complex and, in some cases, life-threatening environmental processes, our ability to generate such data is far outpacing our ability to analyze it. In particular, conventional environmental data analysis tools are inadequate for coping with the size and complexity of these data. As a result, users are forced to reduce the problem in order to adapt to the capabilities of the tools. To overcome these limitations, we must complement the power of computational methods with human knowledge, flexible thinking, imagination, and our capacity for insight by developing visual analysis tools that distill information into the actionable criteria needed for enhanced decision support. In light of said challenges, we have integrated automated statistical analysis capabilities with a highly interactive, multivariate visualization interface to produce a promising approach for visual environmental data analysis. By combining advanced interaction techniques such as dynamic axis scaling, conjunctive parallel coordinates, statistical indicators, and aerial perspective shading, we provide an enhanced variant of the classical parallel coordinates plot. Furthermore, the system facilitates statistical processes such as stepwise linear regression and correlation analysis to assist in the identification and quantification of the most significant predictors for a particular dependent variable. These capabilities are combined into a unique geovisual analytics system that is demonstrated via a pedagogical case study and three North Atlantic tropical cyclone climate studies using a systematic workflow. In addition to revealing several significant associations between environmental observations and tropical cyclone activity, this research corroborates the notion that enhanced parallel coordinates coupled with statistical analysis can be used for more effective knowledge discovery and confirmation in complex, real-world data sets.
Steed, Chad Allen
Katrina (a tropical cyclone/hurricane) began to strengthen reaching a Category 5 storm on 28th August, 2005 and its winds reached peak intensity of 175 mph and pressure levels as low as 902 mb. Katrina eventually weakened to a category 3 storm and made a landfall in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, Gulf of Mexico, south of Buras on 29th August 2005. We investigate the time series intensity change of the hurricane Katrina using environmental modeling and technology tools to develop an early and advanced warning and prediction system. Environmental Mesoscale Model (Weather Research Forecast, WRF) simulations are used for prediction of intensity change and track of the hurricane Katrina. The model is run on a doubly nested domain centered over the central Gulf of Mexico, with grid spacing of 90 km and 30 km for 6 h periods, from August 28th to August 30th. The model results are in good agreement with the observations suggesting that the model is capable of simulating the surface features, intensity change and track and precipitation associated with hurricane Katrina. We computed the maximum vertical velocities (W(max)) using Convective Available Kinetic Energy (CAPE) obtained at the equilibrium level (EL), from atmospheric soundings over the Gulf Coast stations during the hurricane land falling for the period August 21-30, 2005. The large vertical atmospheric motions associated with the land falling hurricane Katrina produced severe weather including thunderstorms and tornadoes 2-3 days before landfall. The environmental modeling simulations in combination with sounding data show that the tools may be used as an advanced prediction and communication system (APCS) for land falling tropical cyclones/hurricanes. PMID:20623002
Tuluri, Francis; Reddy, R Suseela; Anjaneyulu, Y; Colonias, John; Tchounwou, Paul
Katrina (a tropical cyclone/hurricane) began to strengthen reaching a Category 5 storm on 28th August, 2005 and its winds reached peak intensity of 175 mph and pressure levels as low as 902 mb. Katrina eventually weakened to a category 3 storm and made a landfall in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, Gulf of Mexico, south of Buras on 29th August 2005. We investigate the time series intensity change of the hurricane Katrina using environmental modeling and technology tools to develop an early and advanced warning and prediction system. Environmental Mesoscale Model (Weather Research Forecast, WRF) simulations are used for prediction of intensity change and track of the hurricane Katrina. The model is run on a doubly nested domain centered over the central Gulf of Mexico, with grid spacing of 90 km and 30 km for 6 h periods, from August 28th to August 30th. The model results are in good agreement with the observations suggesting that the model is capable of simulating the surface features, intensity change and track and precipitation associated with hurricane Katrina. We computed the maximum vertical velocities (Wmax) using Convective Available Kinetic Energy (CAPE) obtained at the equilibrium level (EL), from atmospheric soundings over the Gulf Coast stations during the hurricane land falling for the period August 21–30, 2005. The large vertical atmospheric motions associated with the land falling hurricane Katrina produced severe weather including thunderstorms and tornadoes 2–3 days before landfall. The environmental modeling simulations in combination with sounding data show that the tools may be used as an advanced prediction and communication system (APCS) for land falling tropical cyclones/hurricanes.
Tuluri, Francis; Reddy, R. Suseela; Anjaneyulu, Y.; Colonias, John; Tchounwou, Paul
A global mesoscale model AFES (AGCM for Earth Simulator) is capable of simulating the detailed structures of both mesoscale phenomena and largescale background condition. This model, constructed in the framework of hydrostatic system, was time integrated with the use of very high resolution of 10km in horizontal and 96 levels in vertical for 16 days in order to understand an entire life cycle of a typhoon. While the mesoscale circulation evolved explicitly in the model, effects of individual convective clouds were evaluated by a scheme of parameterization. During the 16days integration with the very high resolution for late summer period, four tropical cyclones developed in the model. One of them became an intense storm of 920hPa minimum sea level pressure in the mature stage. The thermal and dynamical fields at this stage will be presented and discussed. An interesting feature is the moist neutral stability in the typhoon eyewall region the width of which is near 100km. This result indicates that the eyewall circulation, at least a portion of it, is a mesoscale process that does not require the aid of cumulus clouds. The distance of eyewall from the storm axis increases with height. The air within the upper portion of the typhoon eye is dryer and very much warmer than the eyewall. At low levels, it seems the moisture in the underlying planetary boundary layer is provided to the eye. The above tropical cyclone underwent transition to an extratropical system at later decay stage. The structure of the core region of the storm in such a period will also be discussed.
Yoshioka, M.; Kurihara, Y.; Ohfuchi, W.
The response of tropical cyclone (TC) activity to climate change is a question of major interest. In order to address this crucial issue, several types of models have been developed in the past, such as Global Climate Models (GCMs). However, the horizontal resolution of those models usually leads to some difficulties in resolving the inner core of TCs and then to properly simulate TC activity. In order to avoid this problem, an alternative tool has been developed by Emanuel (2005). This downscaling technique uses tracks that are initiated by randomly seeding large areas of the tropics with weak vortices. Then the survival of the tracks is based on large-scale environmental conditions produced by GCMs in our case. Here we compare the statistics of TC tracks simulated explicitly in four GCMs to the results of the downscaling technique driven by the four same GCMs in the present and future climates over the North Atlantic basin. Simulated tracks are objectively separated into four groups using a cluster technique (Kossin et al. 2010). The four clusters form zonal and meridional separations of tracks as shown in Figure 1. The meridional separation largely captures the separation between hybrid or baroclinic storms (clusters 1 and 2) and deep tropical systems (clusters 3 and 4), while the zonal separation segregates Gulf of Mexico and Cape Verde storms. Except for the seasonality, the downscaled simulations better capture the general characteristics of the clusters (mean duration of the tracks, intensity...) compared with the explicit simulations, which present strong biases. In the second part of this study, we use three different scenarios to examine the possible future changes of the clusters from the downscaled simulations. We explored the role of a warming of the SST, an increase in carbon dioxide and a combination of both ones. The results show that the response to each scenario is highly varying depending on the simulation examined. References - Kossin, J. P., S. J. Camargo, and M. Sitkowski, 2010: Climate modulation of North Atlantic hurricane tracks. Journal of Climate, 23, 3057-3076, DOI: 10.1175/2010JCLI3497.1. - Emanuel, K., 2005: Climate and Tropical Cyclone activity: A new downscaling approach. Journal of Climate, 19, 4797-4802.
Daloz, A.; Camargo, S. J.; Kossin, J. P.; Emanuel, K.
Current meter data obtained from sites on the Alabama, west Florida, and Texas-Louisiana shelves during 1979 coincided with the passage of five tropical cyclones; hurricane Bob, tropical storm Claudette, tropical storm Elena, hurricane Frederic and hurricane Henri, and a sixth storm (hurricane David) which skirted the west Florida coast, although the eye remained east of the Florida penninsula. The observations suggest that along the Alabama shelf (25 m water depth), where the isobaths were essentially perpendicular to the path of the storms, hurricanes Bob and Frederic and tropical storm Claudette caused coastal set-up/set-down, resulting in a complex response. The observations from the west Florida shelf (31 m water depth), where storm paths generally paralleled the isobaths, suggest that the flows associated with hurricanes Frederic, David and possibly tropical storm Claudette were a combination of the storms setting water in motion as they moved through the Gulf of Mexico and local wind forcing. These observations are supported, in part, by the results of an empirical model developed by HOLLAND (1980, Monthly Weather Review, 108, 1212-1218) to estimate the winds associated with tropical cyclones. At the Texas mooring (100 m water depth), one storm, Claudette, passed nearly over the mooring, forcing the flow to a depth of 50 m below the surface. With the exception of hurricane Frederic at the Alabama shelf mooring, and tropical storm Claudette at the Texas mooring, a response to some of the tropical cyclones occurred even when the center of the storms passed over 200 km from the moorings.
Halper, Fern B.; Schroeder, William W.
Interest in storm and hurricane activity has grown over recent years, their changing incidence being seen, rightly or wrongly, as a gauge of ‘global warming'. Yet such judgements can be confidently offered only on the basis of a reliable long period of record that provides more informative perspective on the events of the past few decades. This presentation is concerned with two examples of hurricane activity, both of which make valuable use of historical source material but provide different lessons for climatologists. The first example is from 1680 and demonstrates the value of historical source material in reconstructing events from the distant past and suggests a way forward in developing and improving the long-term storm chronologies. The other, based on the analogous events of 1842 and 2005, offers a convincing demonstration of the need to call upon such comprehensive long-term chronologies in order to avoid making mistaken and unintentionally ill-informed observations on the seeming idiosyncrasies of recent climatic variation. The first example, from August 1680, reconstructs the trajectory and development of an Atlantic tropical cyclone, and draws upon a notable variety of documentary sources ranging from ships' logbooks, official and unofficial correspondence and some early examples of instrumental data. It serves as a model of how such sources, which remain largely unexploited, can be called upon to provide important climatic information. It allows also for the reconstruction the tropical and extratropical phases of the cyclone's trajectory and its possible impact over the UK. The second example, which compares hurricane Vince (2005) with an earlier but overlooked analogue from 1842, demonstrates the caution with which recent events should be interpreted and the need to take as long-term view as possible. Hurricane Vince, which moved directly from the eastern Atlantic towards Iberia, was widely proclaimed as a unique event and a consequence of global warming. Yet a careful search of the historical record provided an almost perfect analogue from 1842 and in doing so offered a salutary warning of our need for caution and for a clearer picture of the past. This presentation reviews both examples and discusses their implications in terms of the possibility of improving the cyclone chronology and, thereby, of assisting in our understanding of present-day events. References Vaquero J.M., R. García-Herrera, D. Wheeler, M. Chenoweth and C. J. Mock, 2008: An historical analogue of 2005 hurricane Vince. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 89, 191 - 201. WheelerD., R. García-Herrera, J.M.Vaquero, M. Chenoweth and C. J. Mock, 2009: Reconstructing the trajectory of the August 1680 Hurricane from contemporary records Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society,(accepted).
García-Herrera, R.; Vaquero, J. M.; Wheeler, D.
Heavy rain from tropical cyclone (TC) landfall has extensive impacts on human life and society. Its estimation is subject to considerable uncertainty, especially in Australian tropical regions. In this study we evaluate the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA) 3B42 rainfall estimates in landfalling TCs over Australia. A high-quality gauge-based gridded rainfall product from the Australian Water Availability Project (AWAP) is utilized as reference data. The overall characteristics of TMPA 3B42 estimates are measured by mean rain rate, correlation coefficient, relative bias, relative root-mean-square error, and empirical orthogonal function analysis on both AWAP and TMPA 3B42. These comparisons show good correspondence over space and time between TMPA 3B42 and AWAP analysis for rainfall at TC landfall over Australia. The results also show that TMPA 3B42 generally overestimates TC rain for low rain rate but underestimates TC rain at high rain rate. TC intensity, location, terrain, and TC seasons all have impacts on TMPA 3B42's detection skill. For TC heavy rain, TMPA 3B42 shows better agreement with AWAP during more intense TCs (CAT3-5), in the eyewall as opposed to the rain bands, in the tropics as opposed to the subtropics, and in late TC seasons as opposed to early and peak TC seasons. Finally, a case study for TC Yasi (2011) is chosen to illustrate TMPA 3B42's ability to estimate TC landfall rainfall over Australia. Even though the performance of TMPA 3B42 can vary from case to case, TMPA 3B42 has a high correlation coefficient with AWAP and achieves good skill scores in most cases.
Chen, Yingjun; Ebert, Elizabeth E.; Walsh, Kevin J. E.; Davidson, Noel E.
Tropical cyclones, or hurricanes, are massive chaotic systems that have threatened coastal populations for millennia. The destructive power of these systems kills thousands every year and causes billions of dollars of damage. Hurricane Katrina alone claim...
B. D. Biggs
Low pressure zone formation due to convection in a tropical cyclone is associated by a newly discovered phenomenon. The explanation is based on Avogadro's law. According to the law 18 grams (molecular weight expressed in grams) of water when evaporated occupies 22.414 litres of vapor at standard temperature and pressure (STP). Therefore, 1.0 gram of water in the vapor form will occupy 1.245 litres. That is, 1245 ml volume of vapor at STP when condensed will form 1.0 ml volume of water. Due to the phase change that is from water vapor to liquid water, huge reduction in volume occurs. The process of condensation of vapor into liquid water from the vapor component of the vapor-rich air is continuously taking place in a tropical cyclone particularly in the eye wall on a very large scale. The condensed water precipitates as rain or forms clouds. Each ml of the rain leaves behind a vacant space equal to 1245 ml forming a low-pressure zone and consequently a pressure gradient force is formed. Therefore, when there are continuous heavy rains in the eye wall, the magnitude of the low pressure zone and the pressure gradient force forming continuously in the condensation regions of the eye wall is gigantic. At the same time the latent heat released in the condensation process is absorbed by the remaining air component, it becomes warmer and buoyant, therefore ascends and ultimately escapes from the top of the cyclone as the outflow, again forming a low pressure zone. Thus, continuous condensation and continuous ascent and escape of warm air from the top together form a continuous pressure gradient and the vapour-rich air is continuously sucked up from below, that is from above the sea surface in the region of the eye wall due to the continuously forming pressure gradient force maintaining the near sea surface convergence of the vapour rich air. The value 1245 changes with change in temperature and pressure, but it does not affect the presented concept. The formation of the low pressure zone due to the condensation is instantaneous. The moment the condensation takes place, the low pressure zone and the consequent pressure gradient force is formed at that instant, hence this phenomenon enhances the fuel input process. Thus, the combination of the convection and the low pressure zone formation due to condensation and vapor volume reduction plays a combined role in the dynamics of a tropical cyclone. In case of tornadoes in the tornado alley, tornadoes are formed where warm vapor-rich air from the Gulf of Mexico meets the cold dry air from Canada. Here the same phenomena of vapor volume reduction and consequent formation of the low pressure zone as explained above is dominantly contributing in initiating and maintaining the flow of air forming a tornado. Since this phenomenon is taking place on land and vapour supply is limited, the tornadoes have a short life span.
Tropical cyclone activity in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico fluctuates on seasonal to century scales. Large climate oscillations, such as the El Nino Southern Oscillation, Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation may affect this tropical cyclone activity. To better discern and understand factors influencing long-term trends in hurricane occurrence, proxies are needed that extend the record beyond historical documents. Tree rings preserve excellent records of climate that can be tracked on an intra-annual scale. Two trees in southern Georgia, slash and longleaf pine, were collected and dated using dendrochronological techniques and a 156- year record (1840-1997) was examined. The tree rings were processed to alpha cellulose, with intra-annual resolution, for examination of oxygen isotopes from both earlywood (EW) and latewood (LW) growing seasons. In the southeastern U.S., temperature variation across the growing season for slash and longleaf pines is modest (27-33° C) and oxygen isotope compositions largely reflect the composition of precipitation. Tropical cyclones produce precipitation that is significantly depleted in 18O compared to average seasonal rainfall and generally occur during the LW growing season. The relatively depleted oxygen isotope ratios are incorporated into LW cellulose and thus the annual ring set is marked by a large difference between EW and LW ? 18O values. For years without a significant event, EW-LW differences are expected to be nominal. The 156-year long tree-ring oxygen isotope record of major hurricane occurrence corresponds well with known tropical cyclone occurrence in the study area. The record also captures evidence of EW drought. The tropical cyclone record appears to be overprinted upon a much larger climate oscillation that is characterized by periods of relative separation (i.e., apart from the larger differences due to hurricanes) vs. coincidence of the EW/LW oxygen isotope compositions. The frequency of tropical cyclones appears to be much greater during the EW/LW separation phase of this larger climate oscillation, in particular the decades of 1840 to mid-1920's and mid-1940 to mid-1970's.
Miller, D. L.; Mora, C. I.; Grissino-Mayer, H. D.; Mock, C. J.; Uhle, M. E.
The association between bi-decadal rainfall variability over southern Africa and the rainfall contributed by tropical cyclonic systems from the Southwest Indian Ocean (SWIO) provides a potential means towards understanding decadal-scale variability over parts of the region. A multi-decadal period is considered, focusing on the anomalous tropospheric patterns that induced a particularly wet 8-year long sub-period over the Limpopo River Basin. The wet sub-period was also characterized by a larger contribution to rainfall by tropical cyclones and depressions. The findings suggest that a broadening of the Hadley circulation underpinned by an anomalous anticyclonic pattern to the east of southern Africa altered tropospheric steering flow, relative vorticity and moisture contents spatially during the sub-period of 8 years. These circulation modulations induced enhanced potential for tropical systems from the SWIO to cause precipitation over the Limpopo River Basin. The same patterns are also conducive to increasing rainfall over the larger subcontinent, therefore explaining the positive association in the bi-decadal rainfall cycle and rainfall contributed by tropical cyclonic systems from the SWIO. An overview of regional circulation anomlies during alternating near-decadal wet and dry epochs is given. The regional circulation anomalies are also explained in hemispheric context, specifically in relation to the Southern Annular Mode, towards understanding variation over other parts of the Southern Hemisphere at this time scale.
Malherbe, Johan; Landman, Willem A.; Engelbrecht, Francois A.
Ionospheric response to tropical cyclones (TCs) was estimated experimentally on the example of three powerful cyclones - KATRINA (23-31 August 2005), RITA (18-26 September 2005), and WILMA (15-25 October 2005). These TCs were active near the USA Atlantic coast. Investigation was based on Total Electron Content (TEC) data from the international network of two-frequency ground-based GPS receivers and the NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis data. We studied the spatial-temporal dynamics of wave TEC disturbances over two periods of ranges (02-20 min and 20-60 min). To select the ionospheric disturbances which were most likely to be associated with the cyclones, maps of TEC disturbances were compared with those of meteorological parameters.
Polyakova, A. S.; Perevalova, N. P.
Tropical cyclones in the northern Indian Ocean pose serious challenges to operational weather forecasting systems, partly due to their shorter lifespan and more erratic track, compared to those in the Atlantic and the Pacific. Moreover, the automated analyses of cyclones over the northern Indian Ocean, produced by operational global data assimilation systems (DASs), are generally of inferior quality than in other basins. In this work it is shown that the assimilation of Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) temperature retrievals under partial cloudy conditions can significantly impact the representation of the cyclone Nargis (which caused devastating loss of life in Myanmar in May 2008) in a global DAS. Forecasts produced from these improved analyses by a global model produce substantially smaller track errors. The impact of the assimilation of clear-sky radiances on the same DAS and forecasting system is positive, but smaller than the one obtained by ingestion of AIRS retrievals, possibly due to poorer coverage.
Reale, O.; Lau, W.K.; Susskind, J.; Brin, E.; Liu, E.; Riishojgaard, L. P.; Rosenburg, R.; Fuentes, M.
To investigate whether the Asian monsoon influences tropical cyclone (TC) activity over the South China Sea (SCS), TCs (including tropical storms and typhoons) over the SCS are analyzed using the Joint Typhoon Warning Center dataset from 1945 to 2009. Results show an increasing trend in the frequencies of TC-all (all TCs over the SCS) and TY-all (all typhoons over the SCS), due mainly to an increase in the number of TCs moving into the SCS after development elsewhere. Little change is seen in the number of TCs that form in the SCS. The results of wavelet analysis indicate that the frequency of typhoons (TY) shows a similar oscillation as that of TCs, i.e., a dominant periodicity of 8-16 years around the 1970s for all TC activity, except for TC-mov (TCs that moved into the SCS from the western North Pacific). To examine the relationship between typhoon activity and the summer monsoon, a correlation analysis was performed that considered typhoons, TCs, and five monsoon indexes. The analysis reveals statistically significant negative correlation between the strength of the Southwest Asian summer monsoon and typhoon activity over the SCS, which likely reflects the effect of the monsoon on TC formation in the western North Pacific (WNP) and subsequent movement into the SCS. There is a statistically significant negative correlation between TY-loc (typhoons that developed from TCs formed over the SCS) and the South China Sea summer monsoon and Southeast Asian summer monsoon.
Huang, Qian; Guan, Yuping
Understanding and predicting intensity changes, especially rapid intensification (RI), of tropical cyclones (TCs) require some understanding of not only the large-scale environment condition, but also the convective and precipitation properties of the storm. Convective and rainfall properties of TCs are statistically quantified for different TC intensity change categories by using Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) data from December 1997 to December 2008. Four 24-h future intensity change categories are defined: rapidly intensifying (RI), slowly intensifying, neutral, and weakening. Maximum convective intensity in the inner core is not necessarily more intense prior to undergoing an RI episode than a slowly intensifying, neutral, or weakening episode. Instead, a minimum threshold of convective intensity, raining area, and total volumetric rain in the inner core has to be reached before a storm undergoes RI. The following necessary conditions for RI are found in the inner core: maximum near surface radar reflectivity > 40 dBZ, maximum 20 (30, 40) dBZ echo height > 8 (6, 4) km, minimum 85 (37) GHz polarization corrected brightness temperature (PCT) < 235 (275) K, minimum 10.8 ?m brightness temperature < 220 K, total raining area > 3,000 km^2, and total volumetric rain > 5,000 mm h-1 km^2. It is also found that total lightning activities in the inner core (outer rainband) have a negative (positive) relationship with storm intensification.
Jiang, H.; Ramirez, E. M.
Tropical cyclogenesis climatology over the South Indian and South Pacific Oceans has been developed using a new tropical cyclone (TC) archive for the Southern Hemisphere, and changes in geographical distribution of areas favourable for TC genesis related to changes in the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phases have been investigated. To explain these changes, large-scale environmental variables which influence TC genesis and development such as sea surface temperatures (SSTs), relative humidity in mid-troposphere, vertical wind shear and lower tropospheric vorticity have been examined. In the South Indian Ocean, reduction of TC genesis in the western part of the basin and its increase in the eastern part as well as displacement of the area favourable for TC genesis further away from the equator during La Niña events compared to El Niño events can be explained by changes in geographical distribution of relative humidity and vorticity across the basin as primary contributors; positive anomalies of SSTs observed during La Niña seasons in the eastern part of the basin additionally contribute to enhanced cyclogenesis near the Western Australia. In the South Pacific Ocean, changes in geographical distribution of relative humidity and vorticity appear to be the key large-scale environmental factors responsible for enhanced TC genesis in the eastern (western) part of the basin as well as for the northeast (southwest) shift of points of cyclogenesis during El Niño (La Niña) events, with vertical wind shear and SSTs as additional contributing large-scale environmental variables.
Kuleshov, Y.; Chane Ming, F.; Qi, L.; Chouaibou, I.; Hoareau, C.; Roux, F.
Barrier Islands are the first line of defense against tropical storms and hurricanes for coastal areas. Historically, tropical cyclonic events have had a great impact on the transgression of barrier islands, especially the Chandeleur Island chain off the eastern coast of Louisiana. These islands are of great importance, aiding in the protection of southeastern Louisiana from major storms, providing habitat for nesting and migratory bird species, and are part of the second oldest wildlife refuge in the country. In 1998, Hurricane Georges caused severe damage to the chain, prompting restoration and monitoring efforts by both federal and state agencies. Since then, multiple storm events have steadily diminished the integrity of the islands. Hurricane Katrina in 2005 thwarted all previous restoration efforts, with Hurricane Gustav in 2008 exacerbating island erosion and vegetation loss. Data from the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER), Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), Landsat 2-4 Multispectral Scanner (MSS), and Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper (TM) will be utilized to detect land loss, island transgression, and vegetation change from 1979 to 2009. This study looks to create a more synoptic view of the transgression of the Chandeleur Islands and correlate weather and sea surface phenomena with erosion trends over the past 30 years, so that partnering organizations such as the Pontchartrain Institute for Environmental Sciences (PIES) can better monitor and address the continual change of the island chain.
Reahard, Ross; Mitchell, Brandie; Brown, Tevin; Billiot, Amanda
The Chandeleur Islands are the first line of defense against tropical storms and hurricanes for coastal Louisiana. They provide habitats for birds species and are a wildlife refuge; however, distressingly, they are eroding and transgressing at an alarming rate. In 1998, Hurricane Georges caused severe damage to the chain, prompting restoration and monitoring efforts by both Federal and State agencies. Since then, storm events have steadily diminished the condition of the islands. Quantification of shoreline erosion, vegetation, and land loss, from 1979 to 2009, was achieved through the analysis of imagery from Landsat 2-4 Multispectral Scanner, Landsat 4 & 5 Thematic Mapper, and Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer sensors. QuickBird imagery was used to validate the accuracy of these results. In addition, this study presents an application of Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer data to assist in tracking the transgression of the Chandeleur Islands. The use of near infrared reflectance calculated from MOD09 surface reflectance data from 2000 to 2009 was analyzed using the Time Series Product Tool. The scope of this project includes not only assessments of the tropical cyclonic events during this time period, but also the effects of tides, winds, and cold fronts on the spatial extent of the islands. Partnering organizations, such as the Pontchartrain Institute for Environmental Research, will utilize those results in an effort to better monitor and address the continual change of the island chain.
Mitchell, Brandie; Reahard, Ross; Billiot, Amanda; Brown, Tevin; Childs, Lauren
A comprehensive analysis has been conducted of the cloud-to-ground lightning activity occurring within a landfalling tropical cyclone that produced an outbreak of strong and damaging tornadoes. Radar data indicate that 12 convective cells were responsible for 29 tornadoes, several of which received an F3 intensity rating, in the southeastern United States on 16 August 1994 within the remnants of Tropical Storm Beryl. Of these 12 tornadic storms, the most active cell produced 315 flashes over a 5.5 hour period, while the other storms were less active. Three tornadic storms failed to produce any CG lightning at all. In general, the tornadic storms were more active electrically than other non-tornadic cells within Beryl's remnants, although the flash rates were rather modest by comparison with significant midlatitude severe storm events. Very few positive polarity flashes were found in the Beryl outbreak. During some of the stronger tornadoes, CG flash rates in the parent storms showed sharp transient decreases. Doppler radar data suggest the stronger tornadic storms were small supercells, and the lightning data indicate these storms exhibited lightning characteristics similar to those found in heavy-precipitation supercell storms.
McCaul, Eugene W., Jr.; Buechler, Dennis; Goodman, Steven J.
Tropical Cyclones (TCs) intensity and frequency are expected to be impacted by climate change. Despite their destructive potential, these phenomena, which can produce heavy precipitation, are also an important source of freshwater. Therefore any change in frequency, seasonal timing and intensity of TCs is expected to strongly impact the regional water cycle and consequently the freshwater availability and distribution. This is critical, due to the fact that freshwater resources in the US are under stress due to the population growth and economic development that increasingly create more demands from agricultural, municipal and industrial uses, resulting in frequent over-allocation of water resources. In this study we concentrate on monitoring the impact of hurricanes and tropical storms on vegetation activity along their terrestrial tracks and investigate the underlying physical processes. To characterize and monitor the spatial organization and time of recovery of vegetation disturbance in the aftermath of major hurricanes over the entire southeastern US, a remote sensed framework based on MODIS enhanced vegetation index (EVI) was developed. At the SE scale, this framework was complemented by a water balance approach to estimate the variability in hurricane groundwater recharge capacity spatially and between events. Then we investigate the contribution of TCs (season totals and event by event) to the SE US annual precipitation totals from 2002 to 2011. A water budget approach applied at the drainage basins scale is used to investigate the partitioning of TCs' precipitation into surface runoff and groundwater system in the direct aftermath of major TCs. This framework allows exploring the contribution of TCs to annual precipitation totals and the consequent recharge of groundwater reservoirs across different physiographic regions (mountains, coastal and alluvial plains) versus the fraction that is quickly evacuated through the river network and surface runoff. Then a Land surface Eco-Hydrological Model (LEHM), combining water and energy budgets with photosynthesis activity, is used to estimate Gross Primary Production (GPP) over the SE US The obtained data is compared to AmeriFlux and MODIS GPP data over the SE United States in order to establish the model's ability to capture vegetation dynamics for the different biomes of the SE US. Then, a suite of numerical experiments is conducted to evaluate the impact of Tropical Cyclones (TCs) precipitation over the SE US. The numerical experiments consist of with and without TC precipitation simulations by replacing the signature of TC forcing by NARR-derived climatology of atmospheric forcing ahead of landfall during the TC terrestrial path. The comparison of these GPP estimates with those obtained with the normal forcing result in areas of discrepancies where the GPP was significantly modulated by TC activity. These areas show up to 10% variability over the last decade.
Data from a single WSR-88D Doppler radar and the National Lightning Detection Network are used to examine in detail the characteristics of the convective storms that produced a severe tornado outbreak within Tropical Storm Beryl's remnants on 16 August 1994. Comparison of the radar data with reports of tornadoes suggests that only 13 cells produced the 29 tornadoes that were documented in Georgia and the Carolinas on that date. Six of these cells spawned multiple tornadoes, and the radar data confirm the presence of miniature supercells. One of the cells was identifiable on radar for 11 hours, spawning tornadoes over a time period spanning approximately 6.5 hours. Several other tornadic cells also exhibited great longevity, with cell lifetimes greater than ever previously documented in a landfalling tropical cyclone tornado event, and comparable to those found in major midlatitude tornadic supercell outbreaks. Time-height analyses of the three strongest tornadic supercells are presented in order to document storm kinematic structure and to show how these storms appear at different ranges from a WSR-88D radar. In addition, cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning data are examined for the outbreak, the most intense tropical cyclone tornado event studied thus far. Although the tornadic cells were responsible for most of Beryl's CG lightning, flash rates were only weak to moderate, even in the most intense supercells, and in all the tornadic storms the lightning flashes were almost entirely negative in polarity. A few of the single-tornado storms produced no detectable CG lightning at all. In the stronger cells, there is some evidence that CG lightning rates decreased during tornadogenesis, as has been documented before in some midlatitude tornadic storms. A number of the storms spawned tornadoes just after producing their final CG lightning flashes. Surprisingly, both peak currents and positive flash percentages were larger in Beryl s nontornadic storms than in the tornadic ones. Despite some intriguing patterns, the CG lightning behavior in this outbreak remains mostly inconsistent and ambiguous, and offers only secondary value for warning guidance. The present findings argue in favor of the implementation of observing systems capable of continuous monitoring of total lightning activity in storms.
McCaul, Eugene W., Jr.; Buechler, Dennis; Goodman, Steven; Cammarata, Michael
Tree rings afford the temporal resolution needed to characterize extreme weather events such as tropical cyclones, their frequency and variability. External factors such as soil water isotopic variability, soil heterogeneity, and/or stand disturbance affect the isotopic composition of individual trees in a stand, resulting in inaccuracies in the record. Single-tree isotope chronologies should be tested against multiple-tree chronologies to determine whether individual trees sufficiently characterize tropical cyclone variability. Eight individual trees from two sites in Big Thicket National Preserve were analyzed to evaluate whether they synchronously record tropical cyclone events. The ability of individual isotope models to capture an event was low (?50%), and individual trees did not always record similar events. A composite chronology from the Turkey Creek Unit identified 5 false positive years and missed five storms. The composite chronology from the Big Sandy Creek Unit identified 5 false positives and missed four storms. All but 3 false positive years were characterized by above average precipitation that followed below average precipitation in the previous year. This mimics the negative isotopic excursion expected from tropical cyclones. Another year (1991) was coincident with a strong El Niño event, resulting in a shift in the dominant moisture source for the Texas Gulf Coast. Drought conditions occurred in years where storms were missed, which dampened the 18O-depleted signal associated with tropical cyclones. These data show that the number of trees is critical for properly characterizing tropical cyclone frequency through time, especially for periods prior to reliable instrumental records.
Lewis, Daniel B.; Finkelstein, David B.; Grissino-Mayer, Henri D.; Mora, Claudia I.; Perfect, Edmund
The ability of General Circulation Models (GCMs) to resolve tropical cyclones in the climate system has traditionally been difficult due to issues such as small storm size and the existence of key thermodynamic processes requiring significant parameterization. At traditional GCM grid resolutions of 50-300 km tropical cyclones are severely under-resolved, if not totally unresolved. Recent improvements in computational ability as well as advances in GCM model design now allow for simulations with grid spacings as small as 10-25 km. At these resolutions, models are able to more effectively capture key dynamical features of tropical cyclones. This paper explores a variable-resolution global model approach that allows for high spatial resolutions in areas of interest, such as low-latitude ocean basins where tropical cyclogenesis occurs. Such GCM designs with multi-resolution meshes serve to bridge the gap between globally uniform grids and limited area models and have the potential to become a future tool for regional climate assessments. A statically-nested, variable-resolution option has recently been introduced into the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Community Atmosphere Model's (CAM) Spectral Element (SE) dynamical core. The SE dynamical core is also known as the 'High-Order Method Modeling Environment' (HOMME). We present aquaplanet climate experiments which showcase the ability of nested meshes to produce realistic tropical cyclones selectively in high resolution grids embedded within a global domain. We also evaluate model performance when coupled to an active land model and forced with historical sea surface temperatures by comparing multi-year results from variable-resolution CAM-SE to other globally-uniform high resolution tropical cyclone studies recently completed by the climate modeling community. Specific focus is paid to intensity profiles and track densities as well as the interannual variability in storm count in tropical regions of interest. We also discuss potential computational advantages of using scalable variable-resolution setups in either short-term process or long-term climate studies.
Zarzycki, C. M.; Jablonowski, C.; Taylor, M. A.
Tropical cyclones (TCs) are extreme weather events causing every year huge damages and several deaths. In some countries they are the natural catastrophes accounting for the major economic damages. The thermal structure of TCs gives important information on the cloud top height allowing for a better understanding of the troposphere-stratosphere transport, which is still poorly understood. The measurement of atmospheric parameters (such as temperature, pressure and humidity) with high vertical resolution and accuracy in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere (UTLS) is difficult especially during severe weather events (e.g TCs). Satellite remote sensing has improved the TC forecast and monitoring accuracy. In the last decade the Global Positioning Systems (GPS) Radio Occultation (RO) technique contributed to improve our knowledge especially at high troposphere altitudes and in remote regions of the globe thanks to the high vertical resolution, avoiding temperature smoothing issues (given by microwave and infrared instruments) in the UTLS and improving the poor temporal resolution and global coverage given by lidars and radars. We selected more than twenty-thousand GPS RO profiles co-located with TC best tracks for the period 2001 to 2012 and computed temperature anomaly profiles relative to a RO background climatology in order to detect TC cloud tops. We characterized the thermal structure for different ocean basins and for different TC intensities, distinguishing between tropical and extra-tropical cases. The analysis shows that all investigated storms have a common feature: they warm the troposphere and cool the UTLS near the cloud top. This behavior is amplified in the extra-tropical areas. Results reveal that the storms' cloud tops in the southern hemisphere basins reach higher altitudes and lower temperatures than in the northern hemisphere basins. We furthermore compared the cloud top height of each profile with the mean tropopause altitude (from the RO archive) in order to detect overshooting. We present a map of TC overshooting events indicating tropical areas which contribute most to UTLS transport and the large-scale atmospheric circulation.
Biondi, Riccardo; Rieckh, Therese; Steiner, Andrea; Kirchengast, Gottfried
The spatial and temporal complexity of tropical cyclones (TCs) raises a number of scientific questions regarding their genesis, movement, intensification, and variability. In this presentation, we review the current state of predictability for each of these processes by evaluating probabilistic forecasts from the most advanced global numerical weather prediction system to date, the ECMWF Variable Resolution Ensemble Prediction System (VarEPS). Using a new false alarm clustering technique to maximize the utility of the VarEPS, the ensemble system is shown to provide well-calibrated probabilistic forecasts for TC genesis through a lead-time of one week, and pregenesis track forecasts with similar skill compared to the VarEPS's postgenesis track forecasts. To quantify the predictability of TCs on intraseasonal time scales, forecasts from the ECMWF Monthly Forecast System (ECMFS) are examined for the North Atlantic Ocean. From this assessment, dynamically based forecasts from the ECMFS provide forecast skill exceeding climatology out to weeks three and four for portions of the southern Gulf of Mexico, western Caribbean and the Main Development Region. Forecast skill in these regions is traced to the model's ability to capture correctly the variability in deep-layer vertical wind shear, the relative frequency of easterly waves moving through these regions, and the intraseasonal modulation of the Madden-Julian Oscillation. On interannual time scales, the predictability of TCs is examined by considering their relationship with tropical Atlantic easterly waves. First, a set of easterly wave climatologies for the CFS-R, ERA-Interim, ERA-40, and NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis are developed using a new easterly wave-tracking algorithm. From the reanalysis-derived climatologies, a moderately positive and statistically significant relationship is seen with tropical Atlantic TCs. In relation to large-scale climate modes, the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) and Atlantic Meridional Mode (AMM) exhibit the strongest positive covariability with Atlantic easterly wave frequency. Besides changes in the number of easterly waves, the intensification efficiency of easterly waves has also been evaluated. These findings offer a plausible physical explanation for the recent increase in the number of tropical Atlantic TCs, as it has been concomitant with an increasing trend in both the number of tropical Atlantic easterly waves and intensification efficiency.
Belanger, J. I.
This study examines global warming impact on tropical cyclone (TC) genesis frequency over the western North Pacific basin (Eq.-40°N, 100°E-180°) predicted by 5 coupled general circulation models that participate in the third phase of Climate Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP3), which exhibit high performance in simulating horizontal distribution of the genesis frequency under the current climate condition. TC-like disturbances are detected
S. Yokoi; Y. N. Takayabu
Intensity of tropical cyclones (TCs), e.g., central pressure, rain rate, wind speed, is greatly controlled by the ocean so is sensitive to the sea surface temperature (SST) distribution. In moving on the local sharp gradient SST region, the intensity of TCs is affected quickly. The intensity change with transforming the structure of a TC is observed in moving around the Kuroshio currents region in the western North Pacific where the local SST gradient is sharp. On the other hand, the sea temperature in shallow ocean basin near the Kuroshio currents off the eastern coast of Japan islands easily varies by the air-sea interaction through mixing/upwelling in the upper layer, which is produced by a TC. To investigate the intensity change of TCs, numerical experiments were performed utilizing with atmosphere-ocean regional coupled/non-coupled model; slab ocean model was for one dimensional coupled experiments and CReSS-NHOES was for three dimensional coupled experiments. Sensitivity experiments to the SST distribution of local horizontal gradient were performed with employing idealized SST distributions in the western North Pacific, in which the meridional SST gradient is quite sharp with aligned vortex patterns along the Kuroshio currents. Intensity change of the TC's central minimum pressure deepening was represented in the three-dimensional ocean coupled experiment including upwelling, compared to that in a slab ocean experiment of one-dimensional vertical mixing heat transfer in the ocean upper layer. Sensitivity experiments showed that the intensity was suppressed in the experiments of smoothed SST gradient. Fine SST pattern with aligned vortexes around the Kuroshio currents also contributes change of the intensity. We will discuss intensity change of TCs, not only the difference of the SST but also the difference of the latent/sensible heat flux around the center of the TCs and the ocean heat content in the ocean surface layer.
Yoshioka, M. K.; Aiki, H.; Tsuboki, K.; Tachibana, Y.
A single-column model is used to estimate the equilibrium response of sea surface temperature (SST), precipitation, and several variables related to tropical cyclone (TC) activity to changes in both local and global forcing. Response to local forcing is estimated using the weak temperature gradient (WTG) approximation. The surface temperature is calculated using a thin slab ocean so as to maintain surface energy balance. Forcing is varied by changing the solar constant, atmospheric CO2 concentration, surface wind speed, and the convergence of upper ocean heat flux. These experiments show that precipitation and variables related to TC activity are not unique functions of SST on time scales long enough for surface energy balance to be maintained. Precipitation varies inversely with SST in experiments in which the surface wind speed is varied. At low wind speed, the WTG experiments reveal a regime of high relative SST and low precipitation, which is maintained by increased transmission of longwave radiation from the surface directly to space through a dry troposphere. In general, TC potential intensity and genesis potential vary much more rapidly with SST in response to varying surface wind speed than in response to other forcings. Local changes in TC potential intensity are highly correlated with local changes in SST, showing that relative SST is a good proxy for potential intensity when forcing is strictly local, but it cannot capture potentially important changes in potential intensity that arise from global-scale changes in forcing.
Emanuel, Kerry; Sobel, Adam
Using a suite of lateral boundary conditions, we investigate the impact of domain size and boundary conditions on the Atlantic tropical cyclone and african easterly Wave activity simulated by a regional climate model. Irrespective of boundary conditions, simulations closest to observed climatology are obtained using a domain covering both the entire tropical Atlantic and northern African region. There is a clear degradation when the high-resolution model domain is diminished to cover only part of the African continent or only the tropical Atlantic. This is found to be the result of biases in the boundary data, which for the smaller domains, have a large impact on TC activity. In this series of simulations, the large-scale Atlantic atmospheric environment appears to be the primary control on simulated TC activity. Weaker wave activity is usually accompanied by a shift in cyclogenesis location, from the MDR to the subtropics. All ERA40-driven integrations manage to capture the observed interannual variability and to reproduce most of the upward trend in tropical cyclone activity observed during that period. When driven by low-resolution global climate model (GCM) integrations, the regional climate model captures interannual variability (albeit with lower correlation coefficients) only if tropical cyclones form in sufficient numbers in the main development region. However, all GCM-driven integrations fail to capture the upward trend in Atlantic tropical cyclone activity. In most integrations, variations in Atlantic tropical cyclone activity appear uncorrelated with variations in African easterly wave activity.
Caron, Louis-Philippe; Jones, Colin G.
Tomography sounding data for the first half of November 2007 are presented. The sounding was conducted over three points located at the same meridian—Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk (47° N, 143° E), Poronaisk (49° N, 143° E), and Nogliki (51° N, 143° E)—in order to find the possible influence of a tropical cyclone on the upper ionosphere. A change in the foF2 parameter by on average no more than 10-20% is a possible response of the upper ionosphere localized over the tropical cyclone (TC) zone (in the given case, 25°-30° northward and 5°-20° eastward) at a distance of approximately 3800-5500 km from it. A decrease or, vice versa, an increase in foF2 is related to the delay of the measurement moment relative to the beginning of the TC action. The complexity of a morphological analysis of the given event is that a tropical cyclone is a "wideband" (in the longitudinal and, to a lesser degree, in the latitudinal directions) and lasting disturbance source.
Vanina-Dart, L. B.; Romanov, A. A.; Sharkov, E. A.
The variability of North Atlantic tropical storms has been the focus of several studies. Duration and seasonality has been attributed to a number of climate patterns and processes such as El Niño-Southern Oscillation, Atlantic Meridional Mode, African easterly waves, and atmospheric Rossby waves, but their tracks have been widely related to the North Atlantic Oscillation. Several authors have pointed out an increase and track shifting of North Atlantic tropical cyclones since 1995 with increased probability of these turning north far away from the North American continent. However, this cannot be regarded as an infrequent phenomenon as most proxy records from the Atlantic North have shown the existence of similar patterns in the past. Sao Miguel Island (Azores archipelago, Portugal) is settled in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. This location makes this island an excellent natural laboratory to record shifts on North Atlantic tropical storms tracks that can reach the archipelago as low intensity hurricanes (e.g. Nadine in 2012) or downgraded to tropical storm (e.g. Grace in 2009). In the present work, lake sediment records have been used as a proxy sensor of tropical storms. Lagoa Azul is located inside Sete Cidades volcanic caldera and its catchment is characterized by stepped and forested caldera walls. Tropical storms and heavy rainfalls produce a flashy and substantial enhancement in the erosion of the catchment, increasing the sediments reaching the lake by rockfalls deposits (in littoral zones) and flood events deposits (in offshore zones). These flood events can be recognized in the sedimentary record as lobe deposits dominated by terrestrial components. It can be found in the sedimentary record and the bathymetry. Instrumental meteorological data and historical records have been compiled to reconstruct the most recent history of the North Atlantic tropical storms that have landed or affected the Sao Miguel Island (Andrade et al., 2008). In addition, a 1.5 m long core allowed us to recover the whole sedimentary infill of Azul Lake, which has been characterized using a multiproxy (geochemistry, diatoms and chironomid head capsules) approach. The last 800 cal years BP, dated by the use of 14C (plant remains) and 210Pb, have been recorded in the 1.5 m of sediment. The layers of flood events deposits are characterized by low Ti content, no diatoms, and both high organic content and terrestrial plants remains. 14C and 210Pb dates obtained in this core have been used to link the flood events recorded in the offshore zones of the lake with the historical storms hitting the archipelago. According to the results of the studied sediment core, the number of tropical storms hitting the island has increased for the last 50 years. This is in accordance with the findings done by other authors (Liu et al., 2001 and Besonen et al., 2008). Moreover, two other periods located around the 1450s and the 1650s also recorded high number of storms. An increase of typhoons in China and hurricanes reaching the north Atlantic coast of United States during the same periods suggests a global climate pattern that ruled these extreme phenomena. LITERATURE: Andrade, C., Trigo R.M., Freitas, M.C., Gallego M.C., Borges, P., Ramos, A.M. (2008) "Comparing Historic Records of Storm frequency and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) chronology for the Azores region", The Holocene, 18, 745-754 Besonen M.R., Bradley S.B., Mudelsee M., Abbott M.B, Francus P. (2008) "A 1000-year, annually-resolved record of hurricane activity from Boston, Massachussets" Geophysical Research Letters. Vol.35, L14705. Liu, K.-b., Shen, C. and Louie, K.-s. (2001), A 1,000-Year History of Typhoon Landfalls in Guangdong, Southern China, Reconstructed from Chinese Historical Documentary Records. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 91: 453-464. doi: 10.1111/0004-5608.00253
Rubio-Ingles, Maria Jesus; Sánchez, Guiomar; Trigo, Ricardo; Francus, Pierre; Gonçalves, Vitor; Raposeiro, Pedro; Freitas, Conceiçao; Borges, Paolo; Hernández, Armand; Bao, Roberto; Vázquez-Loureiro, David; Andrade, Cesar; Sáez, Alberto; Giralt, Santiago
Focusing on the typhoon effect on generating stratospheric GWs, the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model, a next-generation mesoscale numerical weather prediction system, is applied to simulate the typhoon Matsa in 2005 that emerges on July 30, then propagates in the northwestern Pacific until lands on continental China on August 6. An 8-day model run covering the major stages of Matsa reproduces all the key features of the typhoon including the track and the intensity, as well as the spiral clouds associating to the typhoon. Preliminary results reveal that pronounced stratospheric GWs are triggered by the typhoon as it attains its mature stage. The pattern of the waves suggests that the waves can be closely associated with the typhoon. Hereafter, the waves are referred to as TC-GWs. For example at 20-km height, spiral like wave fronts propagate radial away from a center that coincides well to the typhoon center. The waves hold the characteristic feature of gravity waves, as they preferentially propagate in the upstream of background winds, and exhibit quadrature phase relationship between the perturbation field of isentrope and vertical velocity. Moreover, simulation results show that the TC-GWs exhibit horizontal scale comparable to that of the typhoon's spiral cloud bands, i.e., several hundreds to 1000 km. Further investigation results disclose that the TC-GWs are different from the convective GWs as are conventionally understood as being generated by isolated tropical deep convective storm. The details of the results will be presented in this talk.
Chen, Zeyu; Chen, Dan; Lu, Daren
Although previous studies reported upward trends in the basin-wide average lifetime, annual frequency, proportion of intense hurricanes and annual accumulated power dissipation index of Atlantic tropical cyclones (TCs) over the past 30 years, the basin-wide intensity did not increase significantly with the rising sea surface temperature (SST). Observational analysis and numerical simulation conducted in this study suggest that Sahel rainfall is the key to understanding of the long-term change of Atlantic TC intensity. The long-term changes of the basin-wide TC intensity are generally associated with variations in Sahara air layer (SAL) activity and vertical wind shear in the main development region (MDR), both of which are highly correlated with Sahel rainfall. The drying Sahel corresponds to an equatorward shift in the African easterly jet and African easterly wave activity, introducing the SAL to lower latitudes and increasing the MDR vertical wind shear. As a result, Atlantic TCs are more vulnerable to the suppressing effects of the SAL and vertical wind shear. Since the SST warming, especially in the tropical Indian Ocean, is a dominant factor for the Sahel drying that occurred over the past 30 years, it is suggested that the remote effect of SST warming is important for the long-term change of Atlantic TC intensity. Although influence of the AMO warm phase that started in the early 1990s alone can provide a favorable condition for TC intensification, its influence may have been offset by the influence of the ongoing SST warming, particularly in the Indian Ocean. As a result, there was no significant trend observed in the basin-wide average and peak intensity of Atlantic TCs.
Wu, Liguang; Tao, Li
The R/V Revelle was stationed in the central, equatorial Indian Ocean for the third of four DYNAMO (DYNAmics of the MjO) cruises from November 7 - December 8. During this time the initiation phase of the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) was captured, which occurred in the vicinity of a developing tropical cyclone, TC O5A. Convective activity had gradually increased at the ship over the week prior to this event as MJO convection became more organized to the east. On 23 November 2011, isolated precipitating echoes observed by the NASA TOGA C-band Doppler radar gained a rotational storm motion in association with a low-level circulation strengthening northwest of the ship. Overnight, westerly winds became sustained at 10 kts and then accelerated to a sustained value near 40 kts by 1130 UTC on 24 November 2011, bringing about nearly 15 ft wave heights. Strong winds brought precipitation through the radar domain for nearly 30 more hours. The MJO convection was accelerated eastward into the tropical disturbance as it passed just north of the R/V Revelle. Likely associated with outer rain bands, many fast moving, intense squall lines passed directly over the ship, as well as stratiform precipitation with embedded convective elements. This study analyzes the nature of precipitation during this unique interaction between mesoscale, synoptic, and intraseasonal scale forcing mechanisms. The 3-D evolution of precipitating systems within 150 km of the ship was captured by routine full volume and vertical cross section scans. The ship-based radar system took measurements simultaneously with high-resolution ocean and atmosphere observing instruments, offering an unprecedented view of air-sea interaction during the initiation phase of the MJO.
Thompson, E. J.; Rutledge, S. A.; Lang, T. J.
Data from a single Weather Surveillance Radar-1988 Doppler (WSR-88D) and the National Lightning Detection Network are used to examine the characteristics of the convective storms that produced a severe tornado outbreak, including three tornadoes that reached F3 intensity, within Tropical Storm Beryl s remnants on 16 August 1994. Comparison of the radar data with reports of tornadoes suggests that only 13 cells produced the 29 tornadoes that were documented in Georgia and the Carolinas on that date. Six of these cells spawned multiple tornadoes, and the radar data confirm the presence of miniature supercells. One of the cells was identifiable on radar for 11 h. spawning tornadoes over a time period spanning approximately 6.5 h. Several other tornadic cells also exhibited great longevity, with cell lifetimes longer than ever previously documented in a landfalling tropical cyclone (TC) tornado event. This event is easily the most intense TC tornado outbreak yet documented with WSR-88Ds. Time-height analyses of the three strongest tornadic supercells are presented in order to document storm kinematic structure and to show how these storms appear at different ranges from a WSR-88D. In addition, cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning data are examined in Beryl s remnants. Although the tornadic cells were responsible for most of Beryl's CG lightning, their flash rates were only weak to moderate, and in all the tornadic storms the lightning flashes were almost entirely negative in polarity. A few of the single-tornado storms produced no detectable CG lightning at all. There is evidence that CG lightning rates decreased during the tornadoes, compared to 30-min periods before the tornadoes. A number of the storms spawned tornadoes just after producing their final CG lightning flashes. Contrary to the findings for flash rates, both peak currents and positive flash percentages were larger in Beryl's nontornadic storms than in the tornadic ones.
Mccaul, Eugene W., Jr.; Buechler, Dennis E.; Goodman, Steven J.; Cammarata, Michael
A relocation procedure to initialize tropical cyclones was developed to improve the representation of the initial conditions and the track forecast for Panasonic Weather Solutions Tropical Operational Forecasts. This scheme separates the vortex perturbation and environment field from the first guess, then relocates the initial vortex perturbations to the observed position by merging them with the environment field. The relationships of wind vector components with stream function and velocity potential are used for separating the vortex disturbance from first guess. For the separation of scalars, a low-pass Barnes filter is employed. The irregular-shaped relocation area corresponding to the specific initial conditions is determined by mapping the edge of the vortex radius in 36 directions. Then, the non-vortex perturbations in the relocation area are removed by a two-pass Barnes filter to retain the vortex perturbations, while the variable fields outside the perimeter of the modified vortex are kept identical to the original first guess. The potential impacts of this scheme on track forecasts were examined for three hurricane cases in the 2011-12 hurricane season. The experimental results demonstrate that the initialization scheme is able to effectively separate the vortex field from the environment field and maintain a relatively balanced and accurate relocated first guess. As the initial track error is reduced, the following track forecasts are considerably improved. The 72-h average track forecast error was reduced by 32.6% for the cold-start cases, and by 38.4% when using the full-cycling data assimilation because of the accumulated improvements from the initialization scheme.
Gao, Feng; Childs, Peter P.; Huang, Xiang-Yu; Jacobs, Neil A.; Min, Jinzhong
The eddy flux convergence of relative angular momentum (EFC) at 200 mb was calculated for the named tropical cyclones during the 1989-1991 Atlantic hurricane seasons. A period of enhanced EFC within 1500 km of the storm center occurred about every five days due to the interaction with upper-level troughs in the midlatitude westerlies or upper-level, cold lows in low latitudes. Twenty-six of the 32 storms had at least one period of enhanced EFC. In about one-third of the cases, the storm intensified just after the period of enhanced EFC. In most of the cases in which the storm did not intensify the vertical shear increased, the storm moved over cold water, or the storm became extratropical just after the period of enhanced EFC. A statistically significant relationship was found between the EFC within 600 km of the storm center and the intensity change during the next 48 h. The EFC was also examined for the ten storms from the 1989-1991 sample that had the largest intensification rates. Six of the ten periods of rapid intensification were associated with enhanced EFC. In the remaining four cases the storms were intensifying rapidly in a low shear environment without any obvious interaction with upper-level troughs.
Demaria, Mark; Baik, Jong-Jin; Kaplan, John
Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav, and Ike deposited large quantities of sediment on coastal wetlands after making landfall in the northern Gulf of Mexico. We sampled sediments deposited on the wetland surface throughout the entire Louisiana and Texas depositional surfaces of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav, and the Louisiana portion of Hurricane Ike. We used spatial interpolation to model the total amount and spatial distribution of inorganic sediment deposition from each storm. The sediment deposition on coastal wetlands was an estimated 68, 48, and 21 million metric tons from Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Gustav, respectively. The spatial distribution decreased in a similar manner with distance from the coast for all hurricanes, but the relationship with distance from the storm track was more variable between events. The southeast-facing Breton Sound estuary had significant storm-derived sediment deposition west of the storm track, whereas sediment deposition along the south-facing coastline occurred primarily east of the storm track. Sediment organic content, bulk density, and grain size also decreased significantly with distance from the coast, but were also more variable with respect to distance from the track. On average, eighty percent of the mineral deposition occurred within 20 km from the coast, and 58% was within 50 km of the track. These results highlight an important link between tropical cyclone events and coastal wetland sedimentation, and are useful in identifying a more complete sediment budget for coastal wetland soils. PMID:23185635
Tweel, Andrew W; Turner, R Eugene
We examine the change in tropical cyclone (TC) tracks that result from projected changes in the large-scale steering flow and genesis location due to increasing greenhouse gases. Tracks are first simulated using a Beta and Advection Model (BAM) and NCEP-NCAR Reanalysis winds for all TCs that formed in the North Atlantic main development region (MDR) for the period 1950-2010. Changes in genesis location and large-scale steering flow are then estimated from an ensemble mean of 17 CMIP3 models for the A1b emissions scenario. The BAM simulations are then repeated with these changes to estimate how the TC tracks would respond to increased greenhouse gases. As the climate warms, the models project a weakening of the subtropical easterlies as well as an eastward shift in genesis location. This results in a statistically significant decrease in straight-moving (westward) storm tracks of ~5.5% and an increase in recurving (open ocean) tracks of ~5.5%. These track changes decrease TC counts over the Southern Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean by 1-1.5 per decade and increase TC counts over the central Atlantic by 1-1.5 per decade. Changes in the large-scale steering flow account for a vast majority of the projected changes in TC trajectories.
Soden, B. J.; Colbert, A. J.
The tropical cyclone (TC) power dissipation index (PDI) in May over the western North Pacific (WNP) region shows a remarkable increase from the pre-1999 years (1979-1999) to the post-1999 years (2000-2011). Both increased TC numbers and enhanced TC intensity contributed to the change in the PDI. The averaged TC number in May increased from 1.05 per year in the pre-1999 years to 1.75 per year in the post-1999 years. In particular, the number of intense typhoon goes up from 0.14 per year to 0.83 per year, implying a sharp increase of TC intensity. Examination of the large scale background circulation in May shows that the epochal increase of TC number is caused by a significant increase of the genesis potential index (GPI), which has increased by about 33 % from the first (1979-1998) to the second (1999-2011) epoch over the TC genesis region (110°E-160°E, 5°N-20°N). The higher TC intensity is related to the increased maximum potential intensity and reduced TC ambient vertical wind shear in the second epoch. These decadal changes in background conditions over the WNP are the results of the enhanced summer monsoon in May over the both South Asia and South China Sea.
Xu, Shibin; Wang, Bin
Tracks of tropical cyclones (TCs) in the South China Sea (SCS) during 1970-2010 can mainly be divided into two categories: Westward (including west and northwest) and Eastward (east and northeast). TCs moving westward tend to make landfall along the South china or Vietnam coast, while those moving eastward tend to dissipate in the ocean or make landfall on Taiwan, Philippine Islands or occasionally the South China coast. During spring (April-May), there are 17 TCs generated in the SCS, among which 13 moves eastward, but only 4 moves westward. A total of 95 TCs forms in the SCS during TC peak season (June-September), among which 71 TCs move westward, about three times more than that moving eastward (24). During October-December, 33 TCs move westward and 12 eastward. The variability of TC track direction is investigated on intraseasonal, seasonal and inter-annual scale circulation. It is found that TC landfall activities are related to Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO), El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), monsoon activities and TC genesis locations.
Yang, L.; Wang, D.
As part of a research project funded by the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI), we are performing a short course based on the current understanding of tropical cyclones in the eastern Pacific basin. In particular, we are focused in discussing the formation and intensification off the Mexican coast. Our main goal is to train students from higher-education institutions from selected countries in Latin America. Our approach includes the review of climatological features derived from the best-track dataset issued by the National Hurricane Center. Using this dataset, we built a climatology of relevant positions and storm tracks for the base period 1970-2006. Additionally, we designed hands-on sessions in which students analyze satellite imagery from several platforms (GOES, QuikSCATT and TRMM) along with mesoscale model simulations from the WRF model. Case studies that resulted in landfall over northwestern Mexico are used; this includes Hurricanes John, Lane and Paul all of which developed during the season of 2006. So far, the course has been taught in the Atmospheric Sciences Department at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and in La Paz, Mexico, with students from Mexico, Chile, Brazil, Costa Rica and Cuba.
Farfan, L. M.; Pozo, D.; Raga, G.; Romero, R.; Zavala, J.
This study investigates the impact of the intraseasonal oscillation (ISO) on tropical cyclone (TC) tracks in the South China Sea (SCS) during 1970-2010. About one third of TCs in the SCS move eastward, while the other two thirds move westward. In the TC genesis peak seasons of June-October (JJASO), the westward moving TCs are controlled by the background TC steering flow of easterly, and the eastward moving TCs by the TC steering flow induced by the ISO. The outgoing longwave radiation and wind fields show that the eastward moving TCs were mostly along the main axis of strong TC steering flow anomaly of westerly associated with the ISO, while the westward moving TCs were only weakly associated with the ISO. An experiment performed with a simple two-level model further confirmed the result. The interannual variation of TC tracks in the SCS is also discussed. It is found that the steering flow anomalies in the SCS mostly favor eastward moving TCs in central Pacific (CP) El Niño and eastern Pacific (EP) El Niño years. However, the eastward flow anomalies are too weak to have strong influence on the majority of the TCs. During La Niña years, TCs in the SCS tend to move westward, possibly related to the westward steering flow anomalies.
Yang, Lei; Du, Yan; Wang, Dongxiao; Wang, Chunzai; Wang, Xin
Recent dramatic increases in damages caused by tropical cyclones (TCs) and improved understanding of the physics of TCs, have led DHS and NOAA to reconsider intentional hurricane modification. We present a decision analytic assessment of whether, and under what circumstances, it might be rational to attempt to lower the wind speed in a TC approaching South Florida by reducing sea surface temperatures using wind-wave pumps. We compare wind damages after storm modification with damages after investing in mitigation strategies that protect buildings. Using historical data on hurricanes approaching the east coast of Florida since 1953, we develop prior probabilities of how model storms might evolve. The effects of modification are estimated using five hundred simulations with a modern TC model. The FEMA HAZUS-MH MR3 damage model and census data on the value of property at risk are used to estimate expected economic losses. We find that the effect of natural variability is larger than that of either modification or mitigation. If it were properly implemented, and worked as expected, the modification strategy we study could result in slightly lower net losses from an intense storm than the mitigation options considered. However, for all but the most intense storms, mitigation provides "fail safe" protection that might not always be achieved if the only option were modification. A strategy that combines routine mitigation with occasional modification of very intense storms warrants further study.
Klima, K.; Morgan, M. G.; Grossmann, I.
It has long been conjectured that spray ejected from the high-wind ocean surface enhances air/sea enthalpy fluxes, but a lack of observational data, particularly at wind speeds exceeding 20 m s-1, has prevented either confirmation or refutation of this hypothesis. The current study has two aims: first, to provide an estimate of surface enthalpy fluxes obtained from dropsonde data and second, to provide evidence of spray-mediated enthalpy transfer. These are accomplished first by assuming that Monin-Obukhov similarity is satisfied throughout the bottom 100 m of the high-wind boundary layer, then by focusing on the enthalpy flux HK rather than its transfer coefficient CK. The scaling of HKwith wind speed in observational data sets reveals similarities to spray-mediated fluxes predicted by a newly developed surface flux model, in contrast with measurements made in a laboratory setting. This behavior supports the claim that surface enthalpy fluxes are dominated by spray within tropical cyclones.
Richter, David H.; Stern, Daniel P.
The ability to forecast heavy rainfall associated with landfalling tropical cyclones (LTCs) can be improved with a better understanding of the mechanism of rainfall rates and distributions of LTCs. Research in the area of LTCs has shown that associated heavy rainfall is related closely to mechanisms such as moisture transport, extratropical transition (ET), interaction with monsoon surge, land surface processes or topographic effects, mesoscale convective system activities within the LTC, and boundary layer energy transfer etc.. LTCs interacting with environmental weather systems, especially the westerly trough and mei-yu front, could change the rainfall rate and distribution associated with these mid-latitude weather systems. Recently improved technologies have contributed to advancements within the areas of quantitative precipitation estimation (QPE) and quantitative precipitation forecasting (QPF). More specifically, progress has been due primarily to remote sensing observations and mesoscale numerical models which incorporate advanced assimilation techniques. Such progress may provide the tools necessary to improve rainfall forecasting techniques associated with LTCs in the future.
Chen, Lianshou; Li, Ying; Cheng, Zhengquan
The performance of the wave model WAVEWATCH III under a very strong, category 5, tropical cyclone wind forcing is investigated with different drag coefficient parameterizations and ocean current inputs. The model results are compared with field observations of the surface wave spectra from an airborne scanning radar altimeter, National Data Buoy Center (NDBC) time series, and satellite altimeter measurements in Hurricane Ivan (2004). The results suggest that the model with the original drag coefficient parameterization tends to overestimate the significant wave height and the dominant wavelength and produces a wave spectrum with narrower directional spreading. When an improved drag parameterization is introduced and the wave-current interaction is included, the model yields an improved forecast of significant wave height, but underestimates the dominant wavelength. When the hurricane moves over a preexisting mesoscale ocean feature, such as the Loop Current in the Gulf of Mexico or a warm-and cold-core ring, the current associated with the feature can accelerate or decelerate the wave propagation and significantly modulate the wave spectrum. ?? 2009 American Meteorological Society.
Fan, Y.; Ginis, I.; Hara, T.; Wright, C. W.; Walsh, E. J.
Variable thicknesses in the lowest half- ? model level (LML) are often used in atmospheric models to compute surface diagnostic fields such as surface latent and sensible heat fluxes. The effects of the LML on simulated tropical cyclone (TC) evolution were investigated in this study using theWeather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. The results demonstrated notable influences of the LML on TC evolution when the LML was placed below 12 m. The TC intensification rate decreased progressively with a lowering of the LML, but its ultimate intensity change was relatively small. The maximum 10-m winds showed different behavior to minimum sea level pressure and azimuthally-averaged tangential winds, and thus the wind-pressure relationship was changed accordingly by varying the LML. The TC circulation was more contracted in association with a higher LML. Surface latent heat fluxes were enhanced greatly by elevating the LML, wherein the wind speed at the LML played a dominant role. The changes in the wind speed at the LML were dependent not only on their profile differences, but also the different heights they were taken from. Due to the enhanced surface heat fluxes, more intense latent heat release occurred in the eyewall, which boosted the storm's intensification. A higher LML tended to produce a stronger storm, and therefore the surface friction was reinforced, which in turn induced stronger boundary layer inflow together with increased diabatic heating.
Ma, Zhanhong; Fei, Jianfang; Huang, Xiaogang; Cheng, Xiaoping
The changes of tropical cyclone (TC) activities in response to influencing environmental conditions have been paid more and more attention to in recent years. The potential contributions of single and multivariate environmental variables to annual TC frequency and intensity from 1970 to 2009 are investigated in this study. Instead of using correlation coefficient that assumes a set of samples satisfying the normal distribution, a quantitative measurement is formulated based on the information theory. The results show that dynamic environmental variables play an important role in variations of TC activities over the western North Pacific, North Atlantic, and eastern Pacific. These dynamic factors include wind shear between 850 and 200 hPa and 850-hPa relative vorticity. However, the effects of thermal factors on TC activities are distinct over different basins. The thermal environmental variables only have significant contributions to TC frequency and intensity over the eastern Pacific as well as to TC frequency over the North Atlantic. It is found that the primary factors influencing TC activities are indeed not the same over different basins because of the differences in atmospheric conditions and their changes across different areas. The effects of dynamic variables should be considered more in the regions such as the western North Pacific where the thermal conditions are always satisfied.
Wang, Yuan; Song, Jinjie; Wu, Rongsheng
A distinctive satellite-derived precipitative ring pattern around the tropical cyclone (TC) center is found to be related to rapid intensification (RI). The ring pattern appears on the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) 37 GHz passive microwave composite color product as a cyan color ring. The probability of RI is evaluated for cases with this ring pattern by reviewing images of the NRL product for 84 TCs during 2003-2007 in the Atlantic basin using 6-hourly National Hurricane Center (NHC) best track data. It is found that when combining the ring criterion with the Statistical Hurricane Prediction Scheme (SHIPS) RI Index (RII), the probability of RI almost doubled, indicating that both the ring and SHIPS RII contain independent information for RI prediction. A subjective technique for predicting RI is proposed using both the 37 GHz ring and the SHIPS RII. Both the probability of detection (POD) and the false alarm ratio (FAR) for the combined ring+SHIPS RII are lower than those for SHIPS RII alone (POD, 24% versus 77%, and FAR, 26% versus 66%) when treating every 6-hr synoptic time as a separate case. Since the method was initially developed for RI event-based forecasts, statistics based on 2003-2007 Atlantic RI events, which consist of a contiguous period where any 24-hour subset shows at least a 30 kt intensity increase, are also generated. The method captures 21 out of these 28 events and produces 2 false alarms, producing a POD of 75% and a FAR of 9%.
Kieper, Margaret E.; Jiang, Haiyan
In this paper the tomography sounding data (measured in 2007) are considered for the following 3 points: Uzhnosahalinsk (46°57'N, 142°44' E), Poronajsk (49°13' N, 143° 6' E) and Nogliki (51°49' N, 143°7'E). The aim of this research is to find the possible influence of a tropical cyclone (TC) on the higher ionosphere. The results demonstrate that values for critical frequency in the F2- layer (as measured at approximately 3000 km from the TC centre in a horizontal plane along the longitudinal direction) fall after several days. Also the foF2 values increased over a 1 or 2 day period near the TC active zone (in the longitudinal direction). Complexities of the morphological analysis of the given phenomenon arise because the TC is wide-spread (in a longitudinal direction, and to a much smaller degree in a horizontal direction) and a long-term source of disturbance. A major difficulty posed to our study is that the TC is wide-spread and long-lived.
Vanina-Dart, L. B.; Romanov, A. A.; Sharkov, E. A.
Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav, and Ike deposited large quantities of sediment on coastal wetlands after making landfall in the northern Gulf of Mexico. We sampled sediments deposited on the wetland surface throughout the entire Louisiana and Texas depositional surfaces of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav, and the Louisiana portion of Hurricane Ike. We used spatial interpolation to model the total amount and spatial distribution of inorganic sediment deposition from each storm. The sediment deposition on coastal wetlands was an estimated 68, 48, and 21 million metric tons from Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Gustav, respectively. The spatial distribution decreased in a similar manner with distance from the coast for all hurricanes, but the relationship with distance from the storm track was more variable between events. The southeast-facing Breton Sound estuary had significant storm-derived sediment deposition west of the storm track, whereas sediment deposition along the south-facing coastline occurred primarily east of the storm track. Sediment organic content, bulk density, and grain size also decreased significantly with distance from the coast, but were also more variable with respect to distance from the track. On average, eighty percent of the mineral deposition occurred within 20 km from the coast, and 58% was within 50 km of the track. These results highlight an important link between tropical cyclone events and coastal wetland sedimentation, and are useful in identifying a more complete sediment budget for coastal wetland soils.
Tweel, Andrew W.; Turner, R. Eugene
Space-borne microwave instruments are well suited to analyze Tropical