Wednesday, 10 January 2018
Exhibit Hall 3 (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
While the transfer of moist enthalphy from the ocean to the atmosphere is the ultimate energy source for tropical cyclones, the release of latent heat in deep convection in the eyewall is the mechanism by which this energy is converted into the kinetic and available potential energy of the storm. Observational estimates of this heat release are difficult to obtain, and often rely on satellite observations of total rain rate combined with inferred heating profiles. Examination of high-resolution numerical simulations of tropical cyclones reveals that for category 1 and stronger cyclones, there is a close correlation between the total condensate and the total heating, even though the former quantity is an amount and the latter is a rate. This relationship appears to be due to the fact that when the total condensate is large it must be rapidly replaced by new condensate and associated latent heating. The relationship is further established in a ensemble of 225 idealized simulations of tropical cyclones, and the possibility of diagnosing heating from observations of condensate alone (such as from CloudSat) are explored.
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