9C.7A The SWIO-TC Experiment: A Field Experiment to Improve Understanding and Prediction of Tropical Cyclone Intensification in the SW Indian Ocean

Wednesday, 18 April 2018: 12:00 PM
Champions ABC (Sawgrass Marriott)
Olivier Bousquet, LACY (UMR 8105), Saint-Denis, Reunion; and J. P. Duvel, R. F. Rogers, P. Caroff, F. Roux, and P. Tulet

Tropical cyclones (TCs) are associated with heavy rainfall and strong winds that may cause huge human, material and environmental losses in many tropical and subtropical regions. This is particularly true in the southwest Indian Ocean (SWIO) basin, a poorly studied region that experiences a cyclonic activity roughly as intense as in the North-Atlantic basin. Over the last decades, a large number of storms have indeed caused devastations in the Mascarenes (Mauritius, La Réunion), Madagascar, Mozambique and other neighboring countries. In March 2017, TC Enawo and Dineo, caused for instance hundreds of fatalities and more than one million refugees in Madagascar and Mozambique, respectively.
The ability to collect high quality observations within and around tropical cyclones is essential to improve their representation in new high-resolution numerical weather prediction models currently being developed by most major weather services. This is all the more important in the SWIO basin where observations are extremely limited with, in particular, no routine aircraft observation and very sparse ground-based observation networks. In order to address this problem, the international research program ReNov’Risk-Cyclones was recently funded by EU to reinforce permanent observation capabilities in this cyclonic basin and to organize a 4-month field campaign dedicated to the study of tropical cyclones developing in this area.
This presentation will discuss the current status and main scientific objectives on the field phase of this research program, which aims, in particular, to assess the meteorological and oceanic impacts of TC on inhabited territories of the SWIO basin. This field campaign, referred to as the SWIO-TC Experiment, will be conducted in Jan-Apr 2019. It will provide unprecedented observations of tropical cyclones and other high impact weather events developing in this cyclonic basin by coordinating dedicated atmospheric (e.g., regional radiosounding network, aeroclippers, dedicated ground-based/spaceborne remote sensing observations), and oceanic measurements (e.g., buoys, gliders, spaceborne measurements) in the Mozambique Channel and Mascarene Archipelago.
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