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Is Environmental CAPE Important in the Determination of Maximum Possible Hurricane Intensity?

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  • 1 Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado
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Abstract

In numerical simulations using an axisymmetric, cloud-resolving hurricane model, hurricane intensity shows quasi-steady-state behavior. This quasi-steady intensity is interpreted as the maximum possible intensity (MPI) of the model.

Within the literature, numerical demonstrations have confirmed theoretically anticipated influences on hurricane intensity such as sea surface temperature, outflow temperature, and surface exchange coefficients of momentum and enthalpy. Here these investigations are extended by considering the role of environmental convective available potential energy (CAPE) on hurricane intensity. It is found that environmental CAPE (independent of changes to the outflow level) has no significant influence on numerically simulated maximum hurricane intensity. Within this framework, MPI theories that are sensitive to environmental CAPE should be discarded.

Corresponding author address: John Persing, Dept. of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523. Email: john@eady.atmos.colostate.edu

Abstract

In numerical simulations using an axisymmetric, cloud-resolving hurricane model, hurricane intensity shows quasi-steady-state behavior. This quasi-steady intensity is interpreted as the maximum possible intensity (MPI) of the model.

Within the literature, numerical demonstrations have confirmed theoretically anticipated influences on hurricane intensity such as sea surface temperature, outflow temperature, and surface exchange coefficients of momentum and enthalpy. Here these investigations are extended by considering the role of environmental convective available potential energy (CAPE) on hurricane intensity. It is found that environmental CAPE (independent of changes to the outflow level) has no significant influence on numerically simulated maximum hurricane intensity. Within this framework, MPI theories that are sensitive to environmental CAPE should be discarded.

Corresponding author address: John Persing, Dept. of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523. Email: john@eady.atmos.colostate.edu

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