Wednesday, 26 January 2011
Washington State Convention Center
Previous studies by Reddy etal. (2006) have indicated strong interactions of ocean and atmosphere through surface fluxes (heat, momentum and latent heat) associated with the formation and development of tropical cyclone/hurricane activity over the warm pool area of Gulf of Mexico. We extend these investigations to study the ocean-atmosphere interactions and associated hurricane Alex using satellite data and numerical models. Alex strengthened to a tropical storm on the 26th and made landfall on the same day in Belize with maximum sustained winds near 60 mph (97 km/hr). Alex moved across the Yucatan Peninsula and weakened to a tropical depression on the 27th. Early on the 28th, Alex re-emerged over water in the Bay of Campeche and re-strengthened to tropical storm status. The storm moved northwestwardly into the Gulf of Mexico and strengthened to a hurricane on the 29th. Alex made landfall on June 30th along the northern Mexican coast near the Texas border as a Category 2 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 105 mph. Weather Research Forecast (WRF) Mesoscale Model simulations are used for better understanding of the structure and dynamics of hurricane Alex activity and compared model output with observations. The model is run on a doubly nested domain centered over the central Gulf of Mexico, with grid spacing of 90 km and 30 km for 6 hr periods, from August June 29-30, 2010. The model is capable of simulating surface features, intensity change and track associated with hurricane Alex. The study suggested strong heat and latent heat fluxes with heaviest rainfalls as Alex changes its intensity while making landfall.
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