233 Thermodynamic and Kinematic Properties of Isolated Convective Cells in the Rainband Region of Atlantic Hurricanes

Thursday, 19 April 2018
Champions DEFGH (Sawgrass Marriott)
Wesley D. Terwey, Univ. of South Alabama, Mobile, AL; and P. Barlow and S. Sangster

Handout (900.4 kB)

It is well known that hurricane rainbands commonly embed supercells which can harbor tornadoes and other enhanced wind damage potential. However, local, non-rainband convective cells in the tropical cyclone rainband region are also frequently responsible for tornadic and severe wind damage [Edwards et al. (2012), McCaul et al. (2004)]. While the general environment in this outer region of the hurricane has been sampled and studied by many in the past, we will present statistical information on the local environments which these discrete, isolated cells form in.

Utilizing datasets from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) hurricane research aircraft over the last two decades, we identified and documented the thermodynamic and kinematic conditions in the vicinity of convective cells within the rainband regions of Atlantic hurricanes. Both lower fuselage and composited tail radar data are used to identify convective cells, primarily focused on those distinct from the rainband. Near-cell proximity dropwindsondes are selected, categorized and analyzed. Each dropwindsonde is categorized as either an inflow sonde, an outflow sonde, or a general environmental sonde based on its location to the cell and the sonde's thermodynamic and kinematic characteristics. After compiling these categories of sondes, thermodynamic variables and kinematic parameters are calculated and statistics are compiled.

The final goal of this research is to gain a better understanding of environmental characteristics associated with the initiation, morphology, and dynamics of convective cells in tropical cyclones. This study should lead to a better understanding of the physical processes responsible for these cells' evolution and maintenance, especially compared to those environments meteorologists are familiar with in other non-tropical cyclone severe weather convective situations.

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