S173 North Atlantic and East Pacific Tropical Cyclone Intensity Comparison with Integrated Kinetic Energy

Sunday, 22 January 2017
4E (Washington State Convention Center )
Jacob D Carstens, COAPS, Tallahassee, FL; and V. Misra

Integrated Kinetic Energy (IKE; first proposed by Powell and Reinhold 2007) accounts for the full destructive potential of a tropical cyclone by considering its entire tropical storm-force wind field, rather than solely maximum sustained wind near the center. This is the first instance in which the concept of IKE is applied to TCs in the East Pacific basin. TCs in the East Pacific and North Atlantic basins (from 2004-2013) are compared based on relationships between IKE and various factors that influence intensity. These include track, sea surface temperature, and vertical wind shear. Of particular note is the correlation of IKE with the total rainfall volume present in a storm, and how this rainfall is distributed within the TC. Generally, storm size plays the major role in distinguishing between the basins, as larger North Atlantic storms also tend to have much higher values of IKE than those in the East Pacific. IKE behaves to expectation in terms of storm track, as higher IKE values tend to concentrate over open waters and lower latitudes. One key exception to this point is the tendency for North Atlantic storms to expand during extratropical transition at high latitudes, preventing a late-season decline in average IKE for this basin. A particularly strong correlation exists between rainfall volume and IKE, leading to the possibility that an existing IKE prediction model (SPIKE; Kozar and Misra 2015) can aid in predicting total rainfall within a storm. Distribution within the TC proves much more variable and difficult to predict. However, full dataset averages indicate serious flooding and storm surge potential at the outermost portions of hurricanes, aligning with the motivation for studying IKE.
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