The Impact of Convective Momentum Transport on Tropical Cyclone Track Forecasts Using the Emanuel Cumulus Parameterization

Hogan, Timothy F.; Pauley, Randal L.
April 2007
Monthly Weather Review;Apr2007, Vol. 135 Issue 4, p1195
Academic Journal
The influence of convective momentum transport (CMT) on tropical cyclone (TC) track forecasts is examined in the Navy Operational Global Atmospheric Prediction System (NOGAPS) with the Emanuel cumulus parameterization. Data assimilation and medium-range forecast experiments show that for 35 tropical cyclones during August and September 2004 the inclusion of CMT in the cumulus parameterization significantly improves the TC track forecasts. The tests show that the track forecasts are very sensitive to the magnitude of the Emanuel parameterization’s convective momentum transport parameter, which controls the CMT tendency returned by the parameterization. While the overall effect of this formulation of CMT in NOGAPS data assimilation/medium-range forecasts results in the surface pressure of tropical cyclones being less intense (and more consistent with the analysis), the parameterization is not equivalent to a simple diffusion of winds in the presence of convection. This is demonstrated by two data assimilation/medium-range forecast tests in which a vertical diffusion algorithm replaces the CMT. Two additional data assimilation/medium-range forecast experiments were conducted to test whether the skill increase primarily comes from the CMT in the immediate vicinity of the tropical cyclones. The results show that the inclusion of the CMT calculation in the vicinity of the TC makes the largest contribution to the increase in forecast skill, but the general contribution of CMT away from the TC also plays an important role.


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