Tuesday, 17 April 2018
Champions DEFGH (Sawgrass Marriott)
Both theory and idealized equilibrium modeling studies indicate that tropical cyclone size decreases with background rotation rate. In contrast, in real-world observations size tends to increase with latitude. Here we seek to resolve this apparent contradiction via a set of reduced-complexity global aquaplanet simulations with varying planetary rotation rates using the NCAR Community Atmosphere Model 5. The latitudinal distribution of both storm count and size are found to vary markedly with rotation rate, yielding insight into the dynamical constraints on tropical cyclone activity on a rotating planet. Moreover, storm size is found to vary non-monotonically with latitude, indicating that non-equilibrium effects are crucial to the life-cycle evolution of size in nature. Results are then compared to experiments in idealized, time-dependent limited-area modeling simulations using CM1 in axisymmetric and three-dimensional geometry. Taken together, this hierarchy of models is used to quantify the role of equilibrium versus transient controls on storm size and the relevance of each to real storms in nature.
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