CONCERNING THE MECHANICS OF HURRICANES

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  • 1 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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Abstract

The balance of angular momentum in the mature hurricane is examined quantitatively. It is found that the cyclonic angular momentum which ultimately appears in the hurricane is first introduced into the atmosphere within the circulation around each of the neighboring high-pressure cells. From here it is transferred into the cyclonic core of the hurricane through the agency of “horizontal-eddy” processes, which are characterized by mass exchanges in horizontal planes. Such mass exchanges are identified with the so-called “Rossby regime” of convection. Within the cyclonic core of the hurricane, the angular momentum is transported inward through the agency of “vertical-eddy” processes, which are characterized by mass exchanges in vertical planes passing through the axis of rotation of the hurricane. Such mass exchanges are identified with the “Hadley regime”. The hurricane thus possesses characteristics of two distinctly different regimes of convection.

Abstract

The balance of angular momentum in the mature hurricane is examined quantitatively. It is found that the cyclonic angular momentum which ultimately appears in the hurricane is first introduced into the atmosphere within the circulation around each of the neighboring high-pressure cells. From here it is transferred into the cyclonic core of the hurricane through the agency of “horizontal-eddy” processes, which are characterized by mass exchanges in horizontal planes. Such mass exchanges are identified with the so-called “Rossby regime” of convection. Within the cyclonic core of the hurricane, the angular momentum is transported inward through the agency of “vertical-eddy” processes, which are characterized by mass exchanges in vertical planes passing through the axis of rotation of the hurricane. Such mass exchanges are identified with the “Hadley regime”. The hurricane thus possesses characteristics of two distinctly different regimes of convection.

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