464 Revitalizing the Relationship for Tropical Cyclone Interactions with Saharan Dust Plumes across the Tropical Atlantic Basin

Tuesday, 8 January 2019
Hall 4 (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Jordan L. Rabinowitz, Univ. of Missouri, Columbia, MO; and A. R. Lupo

Over the past decade, there has been a substantial increase in research devoted to studying tropical cyclone interaction(s) with Saharan dust plumes (SDP) which emerge from western and northwestern Africa. Much previous work has studied the relationship between atmospheric concentrations of Saharan dust and intensification rates of tropical cyclones moving across the tropical Atlantic Basin via idealized simulations and specific case studies. A secondary research directive has been to assess structural changes (and tendencies thereof) with tropical cyclones (TC) traveling near or through SDPs. This aspect of TC-dust interaction has been studied by evaluating changes related to TC structural symmetry via a variety of satellite-derived products therein and beyond. Through first investigating the prevalence of various synoptic-scale flow regimes and Atlantic and/or Mediterranean-based blocking highs, there is an analysis of how various geopotential height regimes relate to SDP frequency. The second part of this presentation will review statistically-diagnosed relationships between SDP size/concentration and TC size as well as intensity. There will also be a consideration of statistical MJO/ENSO influences on SDP size, intensity, and frequency in the context of this critical research question. The final part of this discussion will involve briefly looking at how HYSPLIT is also being integrated for the purposes of air parcel trajectory verification in relation to SDP progression and evolution thereof. Through assessing satellite-derived products such as aerosol optical depth (AOD), this work will assess which atmospheric parameters best illustrate the impacts of the Saharan Air Layer (SAL) on developing TC's across the Atlantic Ocean. Further analysis will be conducted to assess how Saharan dust plumes may affect the trajectory of a TC based on possible impacts to storm outflow and/or vertical structure.
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