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Title: Role of Surface Enthalpy Fluxes in Idealized Simulations of Tropical Depression Spinup

Abstract

An idealized, three-dimensional, cloud-system-resolving model is used to explore the influence of surface enthalpy flux variations on tropical depression (TD) spinup, an early stage of tropical cyclogenesis in which the role of surface fluxes remains incompletely understood. A range of simulations supports the hypothesis that a negative radial gradient of surface enthalpy flux outside the storm center is necessary for TD spinup but can arise from multiple mechanisms. The negative radial gradient is typically created by the wind speed dependence of surface enthalpy fluxes, consistent with some previous theories for tropical cyclone intensification. Yet, when surface enthalpy fluxes are prescribed to be independent of wind speed, spinup still occurs, albeit more slowly, with the negative radial gradient of surface enthalpy flux maintained by an enhanced air-sea thermodynamic disequilibrium beneath the cold core of the incipient vortex. Surface enthalpy flux variations seem more important for intensification than initial conditions. For instance, a vortex forms and intensifies even from a state of rest when the center of the domain is initialized to be nearly saturated with water vapor, but this intensification is modest in amplitude and transient, lasting less than 12 h, without interactive surface enthalpy flux. Sustained spinup on time scalesmore » longer than a day does not occur when surface enthalpy fluxes are horizontally homogeneous or constant, even when fixed at the high value of 200 W m -2. In the ensemble of simulations presented here, the vortex intensification rate scales linearly with the storm-scale surface enthalpy flux anomaly relative to the undisturbed environment.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2]
  1. Yale Univ., New Haven, CT (United States)
  2. Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States); Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC); US Department of the Navy, Office of Naval Research (ONR)
OSTI Identifier:
1567123
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 75; Journal Issue: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 0022-4928
Publisher:
American Meteorological Society
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Convective storms; Cyclogenesis/cyclolysis; Deep convection; Feedback; Fluxes; Tropical cyclones

Citation Formats

Murthy, Varun S., and Boos, William R. Role of Surface Enthalpy Fluxes in Idealized Simulations of Tropical Depression Spinup. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1175/JAS-D-17-0119.1.
Murthy, Varun S., & Boos, William R. Role of Surface Enthalpy Fluxes in Idealized Simulations of Tropical Depression Spinup. United States. doi:10.1175/JAS-D-17-0119.1.
Murthy, Varun S., and Boos, William R. Thu . "Role of Surface Enthalpy Fluxes in Idealized Simulations of Tropical Depression Spinup". United States. doi:10.1175/JAS-D-17-0119.1. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1567123.
@article{osti_1567123,
title = {Role of Surface Enthalpy Fluxes in Idealized Simulations of Tropical Depression Spinup},
author = {Murthy, Varun S. and Boos, William R.},
abstractNote = {An idealized, three-dimensional, cloud-system-resolving model is used to explore the influence of surface enthalpy flux variations on tropical depression (TD) spinup, an early stage of tropical cyclogenesis in which the role of surface fluxes remains incompletely understood. A range of simulations supports the hypothesis that a negative radial gradient of surface enthalpy flux outside the storm center is necessary for TD spinup but can arise from multiple mechanisms. The negative radial gradient is typically created by the wind speed dependence of surface enthalpy fluxes, consistent with some previous theories for tropical cyclone intensification. Yet, when surface enthalpy fluxes are prescribed to be independent of wind speed, spinup still occurs, albeit more slowly, with the negative radial gradient of surface enthalpy flux maintained by an enhanced air-sea thermodynamic disequilibrium beneath the cold core of the incipient vortex. Surface enthalpy flux variations seem more important for intensification than initial conditions. For instance, a vortex forms and intensifies even from a state of rest when the center of the domain is initialized to be nearly saturated with water vapor, but this intensification is modest in amplitude and transient, lasting less than 12 h, without interactive surface enthalpy flux. Sustained spinup on time scales longer than a day does not occur when surface enthalpy fluxes are horizontally homogeneous or constant, even when fixed at the high value of 200 W m-2. In the ensemble of simulations presented here, the vortex intensification rate scales linearly with the storm-scale surface enthalpy flux anomaly relative to the undisturbed environment.},
doi = {10.1175/JAS-D-17-0119.1},
journal = {Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences},
number = 6,
volume = 75,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {5}
}

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Cited by: 4 works
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Figures / Tables:

TABLE 1 TABLE 1: List of idealized simulations

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Works referencing / citing this record:

Aquaplanet Simulations of Tropical Cyclones
journal, June 2019