Tuesday, 24 January 2012: 4:45 PM
Forecasting Rapid Intensity Changes with Land-Falling Tropical Cyclones
Room 338 (New Orleans Convention Center )
One of the major tropical cyclone (TC) forecasting problems is the rapid intensity change that can occur prior to land fall. One reason for this is that the air-sea interaction influencing the TC intensity change is sensitive to the pre-storm coastal upper-ocean thermal structure. This kind of air-sea process is generally lacking in the atmospheric TC forecast models coupled with a simple 1-D mixed layer. This study utilizes the fully Coupled Ocean/Atmosphere Mesoscale Modeling System (COAMPSŪ ) with data assimilation in the atmosphere and ocean to examine the role of the pre-storm coastal upper-ocean thermal structure on the land-falling TC intensity change. We will discuss the sensitivity of using conventional coastal ocean observing systems and special Airborne eXpendable Bathy Thermograph (AXBT) observations to improve COAMPS initial ocean conditions and the subsequent impact on the coupled model TC intensity forecasts.