17B.7 The three-dimensional reflectivity structure of Atlantic hurricanes as seen by the TRMM precipitation radar

Friday, 2 May 2008: 9:30 AM
Palms E (Wyndham Orlando Resort)
Deanna A. Hence, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Seattle, WA; and R. A. Houze Jr.

This study will use high-resolution reflectivity data from the Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission Precipitation Radar (PR) to document the variations in vertical structure within and among mature tropical cyclones by using frequency distributions of reflectivity as a function of height. The data include all hurricanes seen in overpasses of the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean basins during the 1998-2007 hurricane seasons. The data are sorted into categories based on the intensity, location, the amount and direction of shear, the time of the overpass, the horizontal extent of the storm, sea surface temperature, and the stage of development of the cyclone. In addition the data are divided into annular regions defined by their proximity to the eye as well as by quadrants oriented along the cyclone's track. Preliminary work on intense Gulf of Mexico hurricanes suggests differences in the vertical structure of reflectivity between the regions enclosing the eyewall, the large inner rainbands and the convective outer rainbands, both in terms of precipitation type as well as vertical extent. This study thus aims to isolate statistically significant variations in structure to better understand what effect these different variables have upon tropical cyclone precipitation distribution.
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