TITLE

Influence of Environmental Vertical Wind Shear on the Intensity of Hurricane-Strength Tropical Cyclones in the Australian Region

AUTHOR(S)
Paterson, Linda A.; Hanstrum, Barry N.; Davidson, Noel E.; Weber, Harry C.
PUB. DATE
December 2005
SOURCE
Monthly Weather Review;Dec2005, Vol. 133 Issue 12, p3644
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
NCEP–NCAR reanalyses have been used to investigate the impact of environmental wind shear on the intensity change of hurricane-strength tropical cyclones in the Australian region. A method of removing a symmetric vortex from objective analyses is used to isolate the environmental flow. A relationship between wind shear and intensity change is documented. Correlations between wind shear and intensity change to 36 h are of the order of 0.4. Typically a critical wind shear value of ∼10 m s-1 represents a change from intensification to dissipation. Wind shear values of less than ∼10 m s-1 favor intensification, with values between ∼2 and 4 m s-1 favoring rapid intensification. Shear values greater than ∼10 m s-1 are associated with weakening, with values greater than 12 m s-1 favoring rapid weakening. There appears to be a time lag between the onset of increased vertical wind shear and the onset of weakening, typically between 12 and 36 h. A review of synoptic patterns during intensification-weakening cycles revealed the juxtaposition of a low-level anticyclone on the poleward side of the storm and an approaching 200-hPa trough to the west. In most cases, intensification commences under weak shear with the approach of the trough, but just prior to the onset of high shear. Further, based on described cases when wind shear was weak but no intensification occurred, it is suggested that weak shear is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for intensification. It is illustrated here that the remote dynamical influence of upper-level potential vorticity anomalies may offset the negative effects of environmental shear.
ACCESSION #
19821531

 

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