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 cumulative distribution functions of 24-h intensity changes from the 2003-08 best-track data, four intensity change bins are defined: rapidly intensifying (RI), intensifying, neutral, and weakening. The Navy Operational Global Atmospheric Prediction System daily 0000 and 1200 UTC global analysis and Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission Microwave Imager data are then used as proxies for the real atmosphere, and composites of various environmental fields believed relevant to TC intensity change are made in the vicinity of the TCs. These composites give the average characteristics near the TC, prior to undergoing a given intensity change episode.For the environmental variables, statistically significant differences are examined between RI storms and the other groups. While some environmental differences were found between RI and weakening/neutral TCs in both basins, an interesting result from this study is that the environment of RI TCs and intensifying TCs is quite similar. This indicates that the rate of intensification is only weakly dependent on the environmental conditions, on average, provided the environment is favorable. Notable exceptions were that in the WPAC, RI events occurred in environments with significantly larger conditional instability than intensifying events. In the ATL, RI events occurred in environments with weaker deep-layer shear than intensifying events. An important finding of this work is that SSTs are similar between intensifying and rapidly intensifying TCs, indicating that the rate of intensification is not critically dependent on SST.The TCs in both basins were more intense prior to undergoing an RI episode than an intensifying or neutral episode. In the WPAC, the three groups had similar translational speeds and headings, and average initial position. In the ATL, RI storms were located farther south than intensifying and neutral storms, and had a larger translational speed and a more westward component to the heading.
Despite its category-2 intensity only, Typhoon (tropical cyclone in the Western Pacific) Morakot produced a record-breaking rainfall in Taiwan. A cloud-resolving model is used to simulate this extreme rainfall event and understand the dynamic aspect under this event. Due to the interaction between Morakot and a monsoon system, a peripheral gale force monsoon surge appears to the south of Taiwan. The monsoon surge remains even in a sensitivity experiment in which Taiwan terrain is reduced. However, the rainfall amount in Taiwan is greatly reduced without high topography over Taiwan, suggesting the important role the local topography plays in producing heavy rainfall. The overall numerical results indicate that it is the interaction among the typhoon, monsoon system, and local terrain that led to this extreme event.
Global daily reanalysis fields from the Navy Operational Global Atmospheric Prediction System (NOGAPS) are used to analyze Northern Hemisphere summertime (June-September) developing and nondeveloping disturbances for tropical cyclone (TC) formation from 2003 to 2008. This is Part II of the study focusing on the western North Pacific (WNP), following Part I for the North Atlantic (NATL) basin. Tropical cyclone genesis in the WNP shows different characteristics from that in the NATL in both large-scale environmental conditions and prestorm disturbances.A box difference index (BDI) is used to identify parameters in differentiating between the developing and nondeveloping disturbances. In order of importance, they are 1) 800-hPa maximum relative vorticity, 2) rain rate, 3) vertically averaged horizontal shear, 4) vertically averaged divergence, 5) 925-400-hPa water vapor content, 6) SST, and 7) translational speed. The study indicates that dynamic variables are more important in TC genesis in the WNP, while in Part I of the study the thermodynamic variables are identified as more important in the NATL. The characteristic differences between the WNP and the NATL are compared.
This study investigates the characteristics of extratropical Rossby wave breaking (RWB) during the Atlantic hurricane season and its impacts on Atlantic tropical cyclone (TC) activity. It was found that RWB perturbs the wind and moisture fields throughout the troposphere in the vicinity of a breaking wave. When RWB occurs more frequently over the North Atlantic, the Atlantic main development region (MDR) is subject to stronger vertical wind shear and reduced tropospheric moisture; the basinwide TC counts are reduced, and TCs are generally less intense, have a shorter lifetime, and are less likely to make landfalls. A significant negative correlation was found between Atlantic TC activity and RWB occurrence during 1979-2013. The correlation is comparable to that with the MDR SST index and stronger than that with the Niño-3.4 index. Further analyses suggest that the variability of RWB occurrence in the western Atlantic is largely independent of that in the eastern Atlantic. The RWB occurrence in the western basin is more closely tied to the environmental variability of the tropical North Atlantic and is more likely to hinder TC intensification or reduce the TC lifetime because of its proximity to the central portion of TC tracks. Consequently, the basinwide TC counts and the accumulated cyclone energy have a strong correlation with western-basin RWB occurrence but only a moderate correlation with eastern-basin RWB occurrence. The results highlight the extratropical impacts on Atlantic TC activity and regional climate via RWB and provide new insights into the variability and predictability of TC activity.
This study investigates the characteristic differences of tropical disturbances that eventually develop into tropical cyclones (TCs) versus those that did not, using global daily analysis fields of the Navy Operational Global Atmospheric Prediction System (NOGAPS) from the years 2003 to 2008. Time filtering is applied to the data to extract tropical waves with different frequencies. Waves with a 3-8-day period represent the synoptic-scale disturbances that are representatives as precursors of TCs, and waves with periods greater than 20 days represent the large-scale background environmental flow. Composites are made for the developing and nondeveloping synoptic-scale disturbances in a Lagrangian frame following the disturbances. Similarities and differences between them are analyzed to understand the dynamics and thermodynamics of TC genesis. Part I of this study focuses on events in the North Atlantic, while Part II focuses on the western North Pacific.A box difference index (BDI), accounting for both the mean and variability of the individual sample, is introduced to subjectively and quantitatively identify controlling parameters measuring the differences between developing and nondeveloping disturbances. Larger amplitude of the BDI implies a greater possibility to differentiate the difference between two groups. Based on their BDI values, the following parameters are identified as the best predictors for cyclogenesis in the North Atlantic, in the order of importance: 1) water vapor content within 925 and 400 hPa, 2) rain rate, 3) sea surface temperature (SST), 4) 700-hPa maximum relative vorticity, 5) 1000-600-hPa vertical shear, 6) translational speed, and 7) vertically averaged horizontal shear. This list identifies thermodynamic variables as more important controlling parameters than dynamic variables for TC genesis in the North Atlantic. When the east and west (separated by 408W) Atlantic are examined separately, the 925-400-hPa water vapor content remains as the most important parameter for both regions. The SST and maximum vorticity at 700 hPa have higher importance in the east Atlantic, while SST becomes less important and the vertically averaged horizontal shear and horizontal divergence become more important in the west Atlantic.
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