Effects of Ice Microphysics on Hurricane Intensity

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Sunday, 2 February 2014
Hall C3 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Casey Peirano, SUNY, Albany, NY; and C. P. Riedel, O. Kintigh, and J. Straka

High-resolution model simulations of tropical cyclones were run using a 15-bulk ice microphysics scheme. Simulations were run using different sea surface temperatures to gauge the effect of ice microphysics on hurricanes of different strengths. These model runs are herein compared to Kessler liquid-only microphysics to attempt to determine the effect of ice microphysics on hurricane structure and intensity change. Specifically, reflectivity, pressure perturbation, and vertical velocity are analyzed in depth in this study. Model simulations prove that the implementation of ice microphysics causes hurricanes to grow stronger, develop a more pronounced banding pattern, and develop localized, strong updrafts compared to liquid-only simulations. Not all strengths of hurricanes are affected equally. On an absolute relative difference basis, the implementation of ice microphysics has a greater effect on the intensity of weaker hurricanes.