85 A Climatological Relationship between MJO/ENSO Phases and Tropical Cyclone Interactions with Saharan Dust Storms across the Tropical Atlantic Basin

Monday, 8 January 2018
Exhibit Hall 3 (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Jordan Rabinowitz, Global Weather and Climate Center, Columbia, MO

Over the past decade, there has been an increase in research efforts devoted to studying tropical cyclone interaction(s) with Saharan dust emanating from western and central Africa. Much previous work has studied the relationship between atmospheric concentrations of Saharan dust and intensification rates of tropical cyclones moving across the tropical Atlantic Basin. A secondary research directive has been to assess structural tendencies of tropical cyclones (TC) traveling near or through Saharan dust plumes. This aspect of TC-dust interaction has been studied by evaluating the presence of observable trends in TC structural symmetry as observed through down-looking Geostationary Earth-orbiting satellites such as the GOES-13 satellite and the newer GOES-R (or GOES-16) satellite. The first part of this research will review previous work which has hypothesized a connection between both MJO and ENSO phases/transition to atmospheric variability across Western and Central Africa. An improved understanding of synoptic conditions preceding the initiation of Saharan Dust storms across eastern/central Africa and areas in and around the Mediterranean Sea should foster a greater cognizance of which atmospheric factors lead to more prolific Saharan Dust plumes. By assessing satellite-derived products such as aerosol optical depth (AOD), this work will assess which atmospheric parameters best illustrate the impacts of the Saharan Air Layer (SAL) on developing TC's across the Atlantic Ocean. Further analysis will be conducted to assess how Saharan dust plumes may affect the trajectory of a TC based on possible impacts to storm outflow and/or vertical structure.
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