10C.1 The Role of Downshear Reformation in the Rapid Intensification of a Tropical Cyclone

Wednesday, 18 April 2018: 1:30 PM
Champions ABC (Sawgrass Marriott)
Xiaomin Chen, Nanjing Univ., Nanjing, China; and Y. Wang, J. Fang, and M. Xue

In this study, the key inner-core processes that effectively resist environmental vertical wind shear during the rapid intensification (RI) onset of Typhoon Vicente (2012) are investigated. The convective precipitation shield (CPS) embedded in the downshear convergence zone plays a vital role in preconditioning the tropical cyclone (TC) vortex before RI. The CPS induces a mesoscale positive vorticity band (PVB) characterized by vortical hot tower structures upstream and shallower structures (~ 4 km) downstream. Multiple mesovortices form successively along the PVB and are detached from the PVB at its downstream end, rotating cyclonically around the TC center. The sufficient amount of vorticity anomalies in the PVB facilitates the upscale growth of a mesovortex into a reformed inner vortex, which eventually replaces the parent TC vortex (i.e., downshear reformation), leading to RI onset. The timing of downshear reformation is closely related to the gradually enhancing convective activities in the CPS, which is likely triggered/enhanced by increased surface heat fluxes in the downshear-left quadrant. Results from vorticity budget analyses suggest that convection in the CPS contributes to the vertical development of the tilted reformed inner vortex largely through tilting horizontal vorticity and advecting vorticity upwards. The enhanced mid-level inner vortex precesses more quickly into the upshear flank and is concurrently advected towards the low-level inner vortex, resulting in vertical alignment of the reformed inner vortex and parent TC vortex at the end of downshear reformation.
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