TITLE

Environmental Dynamical Control of Tropical Cyclone Intensity—An Observational Study

AUTHOR(S)
Zeng, Zhihua; Wang, Yuqing; Wu, Chun-Chieh
PUB. DATE
January 2007
SOURCE
Monthly Weather Review;Jan2007, Vol. 135 Issue 1, p38
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The effects of two environmental dynamical factors, namely, the transitional speed and vertical wind shear, on tropical cyclone (TC) intensification, intensity, and lifetime peak intensity were analyzed based on observations in the western North Pacific during 1981–2003. In general, both the fast translation and strong vertical shear are negative to both TC intensification and the lifetime peak intensity. Both the very intense TCs and the TCs with rapid intensification rate are found only to occur in a narrow range of translational speeds between 3 and 8 m s-1, and in relatively weak vertical shear. The overwhelming majority of western North Pacific TCs reach their lifetime peak intensity just prior to recurvature where their environmental steering flow and vertical shear are both weak. The results show that few TCs intensified when they moved faster than 15 m s-1, or when their large-scale environmental vertical shear is larger than 20 m s-1. The intensification rate of TCs is found to increase with decreasing vertical shear while the majority of the weakening storms experience relatively strong vertical shear. Overall, strong vertical shear prohibits rapid intensification and most likely results in the weakening of TCs, similar to the fast storm translation. Based on the statistical analysis, a new empirical maximum potential intensity (MPI) has been developed, which includes the combined negative effect of translational speed and vertical shear as the environmental dynamical control in addition to the positive contribution of SST and the outflow temperature as the thermodynamic control. The new empirical MPI can not only provide more accurate estimation of TC maximum intensity but also better explain the observed behavior of the TC maximum intensity and help explain the thermodynamic and environmental dynamical controls of TC intensity. Implications of the new empirical MPI are discussed.
ACCESSION #
23754417

 

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