The Simpson Symposium


Convective Bursts and Hot Towers Observed During CAMEX-3 and CAMEX-4

Gerald M. Heymsfield, NASA/GSFC, Greenbelt, MD; and J. Halverson, P. Hennon, and L. Tian

The role of convective bursts in the inner core regions of tropical storms has been of interest for many years with respect to their role in intensification. The structure of these convective bursts is best observed in satellite observations, but their structure has also been observed in some of the airborne radar studies over the past decade. Recently, a convective burst was documented during Hurricane Bonnie during NASA’s Convection and Moisture Experiment-3 (CAMEX-3,1998) conducted jointly with NOAA’s Hurricane Field Program (Heymsfield et al., 2001). CAMEX-3 involved the NASA ER-2 high-altitude and DC-8 medium altitude aircraft instrumented with a variety of remote sensing instruments. The Bonnie convective burst was suggested to contribute intensification of its warm core based on radar measurements provided by the ER-2 Doppler Radar (EDOP). During the 2001 hurricane season, data sets from additional storms were collected during CAMEX-4. This paper documents the internal structure of convective bursts observed by EDOP and supporting measurements during four storms (Bonnie, 1998; Georges, 1998; Chantal, 2001; Humberto, 2001) with respect to draft intensities, height profiles of reflectivity, location with respect to the storm center, occurrence relative to the storm evolution, and upper level outflows associated with the burst. These cases will be presented in the poster and will be compared with Bonnie’s convective burst which was associated with a strong subsiding current which appeared to contribute to the storm intensification. For one of the storms (Chantal), a very intense convective burst was nearly 100 km east of the low level circulation center and thus was unfavorably located for intensifying the storm.

Poster Session 4, Tropical Cyclones: Genesis and Hot Towers
Thursday, 13 February 2003, 9:00 AM-11:00 AM

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