3.1 Mesoscale structures near the eye-eyewall interface in tropical cyclones: the cause of rapid intensity changes? (INVITED)

Tuesday, 6 August 2013: 1:30 PM
Multnomah (DoubleTree by Hilton Portland)
George H. Bryan, NCAR, Boulder, CO

Several recent observations-based studies of tropical cyclones (TCs) have documented coherent three-dimensional structures near the interface of the eye and eyewall. Most of this talk will focus on "mesovortices," which are vertically oriented vortices with horizontal scales of ~1-10 km that have been documented using Doppler radar data and in-situ flight-level data. Most studies agree that mesovortices result from barotropic or combined barotropic-baroclinic instability at the eye-eyewall interface, but there are disagreements about how mesovortices affect TC intensity. Some studies have argued that mesovortices play a direct role in intensification, although a counter-argument has been made that mesovortices are merely a symptom of intensification (that was ultimately caused by other processes). Idealized numerical model simulations will be presented in this talk that provide some insight into this debate.
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