The signal of future TC intensification in the Cloudsat measurements

Tuesday, 19 April 2016: 9:45 AM
Ponce de Leon A (The Condado Hilton Plaza)
Shun-Nan Wu, Univ. of Miami, Miami, FL; and B. J. Soden
Manuscript (456.6 kB)

This study examines our understanding of how convective structure controls TC intensity change using the CloudSat Tropical Cyclone (CSTC) data set. Previous theoretical and modeling researches have demonstrated the important role of the convective heating in regulating TC intensity. Theoretical studies further suggest that the vertical profile of the heating may also be critical factor in determining intensity change. However, the direct observations of the convective heating and its vertical profile are scarce. The CSTC dataset provides the possibility of inferring the vertical profile of the latent heating from measurements such as the radar reflectivity or retrievals of cloud and ice water content. This dataset has already provided profiles of the vertical structure of convective heating within TCs with a database of nearly 8000 TC overpasses. To investigate whether there is an observable signal of TC intensity change in the CTSC data set, we composite the profiles of cloud ice and liquid water content, and radar reflectivity into TCs that strengthen and weaken over a subsequent 24 hour period. These are further categorized according to TC intensity and size. We find that TCs which strengthen are associated with ~20% greater ice water contents in the mid to upper troposphere and a decrease in cloud water content.. Further analysis of the CSTC measurements to predict the TC intensity change by analyzing the difference in strengthening and weakening TCs will be presented at the conference.
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