Examining Extratropical Cyclone Sensitivity to a Range of Environmental Conditions
Our work presents a sensitivity analysis approach to untangling the interactions between a changing environment and ETC evolution. Using an idealized framework in the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model, we first identify control variables relevant for consideration in a changing climate, including variations in baroclinicity, temperature, and moisture content. We examine the effect of discrete changes in each individual variable, tracking the effects on several output metrics, including minimum sea level pressure and eddy kinetic energy. Simulations conducted in a dry framework confirm that the storm response is consistent with previous studies. Experiments conducted in a moist environment allow further analysis via additional output metrics such as non-convective and convective precipitation, as well as latent heat release. We find that the introduction of moisture leads to non-linear and non-monotonic responses in the peak eddy kinetic energy of the system, as well as an increasing role of convection with increasing temperatures. In addition, we find that bulk temperature does not play a major role until moisture is included in the simulations, while baroclinicity plays a large role in both dry and moist simulations.