27th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology


A fresh look at tropical cyclone pressure-wind relationships using recent reconnaissance based "best-track" data (1998-2005)

Daniel P. Brown, NOAA/NWS/NCEP/TPC, Miami, FL; and J. L. Franklin and C. Landsea

Determining the relationship between minimum sea level pressure (MSLP) and maximum sustained surface wind (MSSW) has been difficult due to the lack of ground truth observations. Previous studies such as Kraft (1961) and Atkinson and Holiday (1977) used limited surface observations as ground truth to determine pressure-wind relationships. Recently, GPS dropwindsondes have greatly improved our ability to estimate the maximum surface winds and minimum surface pressure of tropical cyclones. This has been accomplished both by direct measurement and through more accurate interpretation of aircraft flight-level winds. As a result, it is likely that recent NHC “best-track” data are more accurate. With more reliable “best-track” data and the recent well-documented increase in tropical cyclone activity in the Atlantic basin, this leads to a unique opportunity to reexamine pressure-wind relationships in tropical cyclones. In fact, during this very active period three of the top six lowest MSLPs ever recorded in the Atlantic basin have been observed.

This study will reexamine pressure-wind relationships using recent reconnaissance based “best-track” data for the Atlantic basin. A detailed look at pressure-wind relationships for sub-basins including the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea, and the tropical Atlantic will be performed. Additionally, a comparison of pressure-wind relationships of weakening versus strengthening tropical cyclones will be examined.

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Session 3B, Tropical Cyclone Intensity I
Monday, 24 April 2006, 1:30 PM-3:00 PM, Regency Grand BR 1-3

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