27th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology


Energetics of idealized hurricane-like vortices

Young C. Kwon, Penn State Univ, University Park, PA; and W. M. Frank

The energy flows in a core region of an idealized hurricane-like vortex are analyzed using energy equations derived in this study. The Pennsylvania State University/National Center for Atmospheric Research Mesoscale Model 5.3 (PSU/NCAR MM5V3) is used for the simulations. The vortex is initially axisymmetric with fixed surface conditions, such as an ocean with constant sea surface temperature 29C and f-plane valid at 17N. The simulations of the vortex are performed with calm environment (non-shear case) and with weak vertical shear (shear case). While the structure and intensity of the non-shear case are relatively steady, those of the shear case change dramatically with time. The energy flow analysis shows that the upper-level baroclinic eddy life cycles of the sheared vortex are mainly resplonsible for the weakening and structural changing of the shear case. Similar to a midlatitude baroclinic system, the baroclinic eddy life cycle in a hurricane-like vortex consists of eddy growth by a positive baroclinic process followed by eddy decaying by a negative barotropic process.

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Session 1B, Tropical Cyclone Structure I
Monday, 24 April 2006, 8:00 AM-9:45 AM, Regency Grand BR 1-3

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