27th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology


A Lagrangian View of a Simulated Hurricane

Michael T. Montgomery, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO; and T. A. Cram, J. Persing, and S. A. Braun

The transport and mixing characteristics of a large sample of air parcels within a mature and vertically sheared hurricane vortex are examined. Data from a high-resolution (2 km grid spacing) numerical simulation of "real-case" Hurricane Bonnie (1998) is used to calculate Lagrangian trajectories of air parcels in various subdomains of the hurricane (namely, the eye, eyewall, and near-environment) to study the degree of interaction (transport and mixing) between these subdomains. It is found that that 1) there is transport and mixing from the low-level eye to the eyewall that carries high-theta_e air which can enhance the efficiency of the hurricane heat engine; 2) a portion of the low-level inflow of the hurricane bypasses the eyewall to enter the eye, that both replaces the mass of the low-level eye and lingers for a sufficient time (order 1 hour) to acquire enhanced entropy characteristics through interaction with the ocean beneath the eye; 3) air in the mid- to upper-level eye is exchanged with the eyewall such that half the air of the eye is exchanged in five hours in this case of a sheared hurricane; and 4) that one-fifth of the mass in the eyewall at a height of 5 km has an origin in the mid- to upper-level environment where theta_e is much less than in the eyewall, which ventilates the ensemble average by about 1 K. Implications of these findings on the problem of hurricane intensity forecasting will be discussed. .

Session 11B, Tropical Cyclone Structure IV
Thursday, 27 April 2006, 8:00 AM-9:45 AM, Regency Grand Ballroom

Previous paper  Next paper

Browse or search entire meeting

AMS Home Page