Tropical Cyclone-Upper Atmospheric Interaction as Inferred from Satellite Total Ozone Observations

Edward B. Rodgers Laboratory for Atmospheres, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland

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John Stout General Science Corporation, Laurel, Maryland

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Joseph Steranka General Science Corporation, Laurel, Maryland

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Simon Chang Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, D. C.

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Abstract

The Nimbus-7 Total Ozone Mapping spectrometer (TOMS) was used to map the distribution of total Ozone in and around western Atlantic tropical cyclones from 1979 to 1982. It was found that the TOMS-observed total Ozone distribution within the subtropics during the tropical cyclone seasonal correlated well with the tropopause topoghraphy, similar to earlier middle-latitudinal observations. This relationship made it possible to use TOMS to monitor the propagation of upper-tropospheric subtropical transient waves and the mutual adjustment between the tropical cyclone and the upper-tropospheric waves during their interaction. These total ozone patterns reflected the three-dimensional upper-tropospheric transport processes that were conducive for storm intensification and weakening. It was also found from satellite observations and numerical model simulations that modification of the environmental distribution of total ozone by the tropical cyclones was primarily caused by the secondary circulation associated with the tropical cyclone's outflow jet and the intrusion of stratospheric air in the eyes of tropical cyclones.

Abstract

The Nimbus-7 Total Ozone Mapping spectrometer (TOMS) was used to map the distribution of total Ozone in and around western Atlantic tropical cyclones from 1979 to 1982. It was found that the TOMS-observed total Ozone distribution within the subtropics during the tropical cyclone seasonal correlated well with the tropopause topoghraphy, similar to earlier middle-latitudinal observations. This relationship made it possible to use TOMS to monitor the propagation of upper-tropospheric subtropical transient waves and the mutual adjustment between the tropical cyclone and the upper-tropospheric waves during their interaction. These total ozone patterns reflected the three-dimensional upper-tropospheric transport processes that were conducive for storm intensification and weakening. It was also found from satellite observations and numerical model simulations that modification of the environmental distribution of total ozone by the tropical cyclones was primarily caused by the secondary circulation associated with the tropical cyclone's outflow jet and the intrusion of stratospheric air in the eyes of tropical cyclones.

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