426 Structure and Intensity of Hurricane Ophelia (2005): RAINEX Observations and Coupled Atmosphere-Ocean Modeling

Tuesday, 24 January 2017
4E (Washington State Convention Center )
Shuyi S. Chen, University of Miami, Miami, FL; and A. Smith and J. Ming

Hurricane Ophelia was one of the best-observed storms during the Hurricane Rainbands and Intensity Change Experiment (RAINEX) field campaign in 2005. Ophelia formed from a disturbance near the east coast of Florida. The atmospheric conditions were inductive for TC intensification from 11-15 September 2005. However, the relative slow storm motion with a circular track, Ophelia induced unusually strong ocean cooling under the center of the storm. The inner core weakened significantly while the over the self-induced cold water from 12-13 September. However, the outer rainbands persisted and evolved into a symmetric eyewall that led to Ophelia’s re-intensification after the storm moved away from the cold water on 14 September. Ophelia’s unusually shallow vertical structure was observed by three airborne Doppler radars on board of the two NOAA P3s and a Navy P3 aircraft, and reproduced by a coupled atmosphere-ocean model.  It posted a great challenge for uncoupled atmosphere models that over-intensified the storm without the ocean cooling.
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