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The Outflow–Rainband Relationship Induced by Environmental Flow around Tropical Cyclones

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  • 1 Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, Miami, Florida
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Abstract

This study investigates the role of the asymmetric interaction between the tropical cyclone (TC) and the environmental flow in governing the TC inner-core asymmetric structure. Motivated by the limitations of bulk measures of vertical wind shear in representing the complete environmental flow, the TC outflow is used as a focus for the asymmetric interaction. By analyzing an idealized numerical simulation, it is demonstrated that parcels can go directly from the asymmetric rainband to the upper-level outflow. The relatively large vertical mass flux in the rainband region also suggests that the asymmetric rainband is an important source of the outflow. In a simulation that suppresses convection by reducing the water vapor within the rainband region, the upper-level outflow is weakened, further supporting the hypothesis that the rainband and outflow are directly connected. Finally, it is demonstrated that the asymmetric outflow and the outer rainband are coupled through the descending inflow below the outflow. Some of the main characteristics of the outflow–rainband relationship are also supported by a real-case numerical simulation of Hurricane Bill (2009). The relationship is potentially useful for understanding and predicting the evolution of the TC inner-core structure during the interaction with the large-scale environmental flow.

© 2019 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: Yi Dai, ydai@rsmas.miami.edu

This article is included in the Tropical Cyclone Intensity Experiment (TCI) Special Collection.

Abstract

This study investigates the role of the asymmetric interaction between the tropical cyclone (TC) and the environmental flow in governing the TC inner-core asymmetric structure. Motivated by the limitations of bulk measures of vertical wind shear in representing the complete environmental flow, the TC outflow is used as a focus for the asymmetric interaction. By analyzing an idealized numerical simulation, it is demonstrated that parcels can go directly from the asymmetric rainband to the upper-level outflow. The relatively large vertical mass flux in the rainband region also suggests that the asymmetric rainband is an important source of the outflow. In a simulation that suppresses convection by reducing the water vapor within the rainband region, the upper-level outflow is weakened, further supporting the hypothesis that the rainband and outflow are directly connected. Finally, it is demonstrated that the asymmetric outflow and the outer rainband are coupled through the descending inflow below the outflow. Some of the main characteristics of the outflow–rainband relationship are also supported by a real-case numerical simulation of Hurricane Bill (2009). The relationship is potentially useful for understanding and predicting the evolution of the TC inner-core structure during the interaction with the large-scale environmental flow.

© 2019 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: Yi Dai, ydai@rsmas.miami.edu

This article is included in the Tropical Cyclone Intensity Experiment (TCI) Special Collection.

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