Mesoscale Horizontal Kinetic Energy Spectra of a Tropical Cyclone

Yuan Wang College of Meteorology and Oceanography, National University of Defense Technology, Nanjing, China

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Lifeng Zhang College of Meteorology and Oceanography, National University of Defense Technology, Nanjing, China

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Jun Peng College of Meteorology and Oceanography, National University of Defense Technology, Nanjing, China

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Saisai Liu College of Meteorology and Oceanography, National University of Defense Technology, Nanjing, and Unit 31010, People’s Liberation Army, Beijing, China

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Abstract

A high-resolution cloud-permitting simulation with the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model is performed to investigate the mesoscale horizontal kinetic energy (HKE) spectra of a tropical cyclone (TC). The spectrum displays an arc-like shape in the troposphere and a quasi-linear shape in the lower stratosphere for wavelengths below 500 km during the mature period of the TC, while they both develop a quasi −5/3 slope. The total HKE spectrum is dominated by its rotational component in the troposphere but by its divergent component in the lower stratosphere. Further spectral HKE budget diagnosis reveals a generally downscale cascade of HKE, although a local upscale cascade gradually forms in the lower stratosphere. However, the mesoscale energy spectrum is not only governed by the energy cascade, but is evidently influenced also by other physical processes, among which the buoyancy effect converts available potential energy (APE) to HKE in the mid- and upper troposphere and converts HKE to APE in the lower stratosphere, the vertically propagating inertia–gravity waves transport the HKE from the upper troposphere to lower and higher layers, and the vertical transportation of convection always transports HKE upward.

© 2018 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Lifeng Zhang, zhanglif_qxxy@sina.cn

Abstract

A high-resolution cloud-permitting simulation with the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model is performed to investigate the mesoscale horizontal kinetic energy (HKE) spectra of a tropical cyclone (TC). The spectrum displays an arc-like shape in the troposphere and a quasi-linear shape in the lower stratosphere for wavelengths below 500 km during the mature period of the TC, while they both develop a quasi −5/3 slope. The total HKE spectrum is dominated by its rotational component in the troposphere but by its divergent component in the lower stratosphere. Further spectral HKE budget diagnosis reveals a generally downscale cascade of HKE, although a local upscale cascade gradually forms in the lower stratosphere. However, the mesoscale energy spectrum is not only governed by the energy cascade, but is evidently influenced also by other physical processes, among which the buoyancy effect converts available potential energy (APE) to HKE in the mid- and upper troposphere and converts HKE to APE in the lower stratosphere, the vertically propagating inertia–gravity waves transport the HKE from the upper troposphere to lower and higher layers, and the vertical transportation of convection always transports HKE upward.

© 2018 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Lifeng Zhang, zhanglif_qxxy@sina.cn
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