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Genesis of Hurricane Julia (2010) within an African Easterly Wave: Developing and Nondeveloping Members from WRF–LETKF Ensemble Forecasts

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  • 1 Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, University of Maryland, College Park, College Park, Maryland
  • 2 RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science, Kobe, Japan
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Abstract

In this study, the predictability of and parametric differences in the genesis of Hurricane Julia (2010) are investigated using 20 mesoscale ensemble forecasts with the finest resolution of 1 km. Results show that the genesis of Julia is highly predictable, with all but two members undergoing genesis. Despite the high predictability, substantial parametric differences exist between the stronger and weaker members. Notably, the strongest-developing member exhibits large upper-tropospheric warming within a storm-scale outflow during genesis. In contrast, the nondeveloping member has weak and more localized warming due to inhibited convective development and a lack of a storm-scale outflow. A reduction in the Rossby radius of deformation in the strongest member aids in the accumulation of the warmth, while little contraction takes place in the nondeveloping member. The warming in the upper troposphere is responsible for the development of meso-α-scale surface pressure falls and a meso-β surface low in the strongest-developing member. Such features fail to form in the nondeveloping member as weak upper-tropospheric warming is unable to induce meaningful surface pressure falls. Cloud ice content is nearly doubled in the strongest member as compared to its nondeveloping counterparts, suggesting the importance of depositional heating of the upper troposphere. It is found that the stronger member undergoes genesis faster due to the lack of convective inhibition near the African easterly wave (AEW) pouch center prior to genesis. This allows for the faster development of a mesoscale convective system and storm-scale outflow, given the already favorable larger-scale conditions.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Da-Lin Zhang, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, University of Maryland, College Park, College Park, MD 20742. E-mail: dalin@atmos.umd.edu

Abstract

In this study, the predictability of and parametric differences in the genesis of Hurricane Julia (2010) are investigated using 20 mesoscale ensemble forecasts with the finest resolution of 1 km. Results show that the genesis of Julia is highly predictable, with all but two members undergoing genesis. Despite the high predictability, substantial parametric differences exist between the stronger and weaker members. Notably, the strongest-developing member exhibits large upper-tropospheric warming within a storm-scale outflow during genesis. In contrast, the nondeveloping member has weak and more localized warming due to inhibited convective development and a lack of a storm-scale outflow. A reduction in the Rossby radius of deformation in the strongest member aids in the accumulation of the warmth, while little contraction takes place in the nondeveloping member. The warming in the upper troposphere is responsible for the development of meso-α-scale surface pressure falls and a meso-β surface low in the strongest-developing member. Such features fail to form in the nondeveloping member as weak upper-tropospheric warming is unable to induce meaningful surface pressure falls. Cloud ice content is nearly doubled in the strongest member as compared to its nondeveloping counterparts, suggesting the importance of depositional heating of the upper troposphere. It is found that the stronger member undergoes genesis faster due to the lack of convective inhibition near the African easterly wave (AEW) pouch center prior to genesis. This allows for the faster development of a mesoscale convective system and storm-scale outflow, given the already favorable larger-scale conditions.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Da-Lin Zhang, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, University of Maryland, College Park, College Park, MD 20742. E-mail: dalin@atmos.umd.edu
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