Monday, 16 April 2018: 5:15 PM
Masters ABCD (Sawgrass Marriott)
Historically it has been stated that tropical cyclones cannot form close to the Equator because the Coriolis force is too small there. On December 27, 2001 a tropical cyclone named Vamei reached typhoon intensity at latitude 1.5˚N and longitude 105˚E. Thus, it is clearly possible for tropical cyclones to form and intensify near the Equator. Early simplifications of the equations of motion were based on scale factors appropriate for the mid-latitude synoptic scales of motion. Those simplifications often eliminate a term related to the cosine of the latitude in the term for motion in the x-direction. When the simplified equations of motion are used to create a vorticity theorem, they also neglect that term. However, if there is a sufficiently large horizontal gradient of vertical motion, then it is possible for this term to generate sufficient vorticity to spin up a tropical cyclone near the Equator.
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