P2.40 Why numerical model fails to predict tropical cyclone intensification?

Wednesday, 27 June 2007
Summit C (The Yarrow Resort Hotel and Conference Center)
Xuanli Li, University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, AL; and Z. Pu

Forecast of tropical cyclone intensification and intensity changes remains a challenging problem in both research and operational communities. Many recent studies shown that high-resolution numerical models have abilities to produce observed peak intensities for tropical cyclones. However, it is also shown that in most of the cases, the models have problems to capture the actual rapid intensification rate, thus fail to predict the right intensity for tropical cyclones during their evolutions. In this study, we conduct case studies with WRF model to explore the reason why the numerical model fails to predict the rapid intensification of tropical cyclones. Specifically, we compare the model simulated storm structures and the environmental conditions with observations to detect the problems in numerical model initial conditions and simulations. Preliminary results show significant differences between simulated and observed environment conditions and storm structures, especially in the low level environmental thermal fields and the storm convective structures. Further examination is conducting to identify the major factors that cause the major failure in the storm intensity forecast. Results and conclusions will be presented at the conference.
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