27th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology


Super cyclone boosters in the northwest Pacific Ocean

I.-I. Lin, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan; and C. -. C. Wu and I. -. F. Pun

Most of the world's most powerful tropical cyclones occur in the Northwest Pacific Ocean. How these category-five “super cyclones” obtain their extraordinary strength remains a mystery. Although the ensemble of cyclone tracks span over the entire Northwest Pacific Ocean, they apparently intensify only across a confined zone. Here we combine in-situ measurements, remote sensing, and numerical experiments to show that the intensification zone is delimited by an abundance of warm ocean eddies and by the thickest belt of warm subtropical gyre water. We suggest that the robust structure of these warm waters effectively counteracts cyclone's self-induced cooling that otherwise restrains a tropical cyclone from intensification. Understanding of boosters in other ocean basins, such as those which may have fuelled the recent Super hurricane Katrina, serves to instil greater preparedness and mitigation of disaster resulted from super cyclones.

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wrf recording  Recorded presentation

Session 3C, Air-Sea Interaction I
Monday, 24 April 2006, 1:30 PM-2:45 PM, Regency Grand Ballroom

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