Thermodynamic pathways of vertical wind shear impacting tropical cyclone intensity change: Energetics and Lagrangian analysis

Zi-Qi Liu School of Atmospheric Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing, China

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Zhe-Min Tan School of Atmospheric Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing, China

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Abstract

This study analyzes the variations in the thermodynamic cycle and energy of a tropical cyclone (TC) under the influence of vertical wind shear (VWS), exploring the possible thermodynamic pathways through which VWS affects TC intensity. The maximum energy harnessed by the TC diminishes alongside a decrease in storm intensity in the presence of VWS. In the sheared TC, the ascending branch of the thermodynamic cycles of TC shifts toward lower entropy, which is related to the reduction of entropy in the eyewall and/or the increase of entropy and enhanced upward motion outside the eyewall. Moreover, the descending leg to shift toward higher entropy due to the increase in entropy and weakening of downward motion in both the ambient environment and upper troposphere. These changes in the ascending and descending branches could reduce the work done by the heat engine cycle, with the former playing a primary role in the presence of VWS.

Given that the ascending branch is influenced by the eyewall and the rainbands outside the eyewall under VWS, the thermodynamic pathways could be categorized into inner ventilation and outer ventilation based on the location of their roles. The pathways associated with inner ventilation primarily reduce the entropy in the eyewall. In addition to the conventional low- and mid-level ventilation, the inner ventilation also encompasses new pathways entering the mid-level eyewall after descending from the upper level and ascending from the boundary layer. Conversely, the pathways of outer ventilation are related to the increase the entropy outside the eyewall. These include the ascent of high-entropy air to the middle and upper troposphere related to the inner and outer rainbands, the outward advection of high-entropy air from the eyewall in the mid- and upper-levels, and air warming by the descending draft from the upper to the mid-level troposphere. These insights contribute to a nuanced understanding of the sophisticated interactions within TCs and their response to VWS.

© 2024 American Meteorological Society. This is an Author Accepted Manuscript distributed under the terms of the default AMS reuse license. For information regarding reuse and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Zhe-Min Tan, School of Atmospheric Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing, China, Email: zmtan@nju.edu.cn

Abstract

This study analyzes the variations in the thermodynamic cycle and energy of a tropical cyclone (TC) under the influence of vertical wind shear (VWS), exploring the possible thermodynamic pathways through which VWS affects TC intensity. The maximum energy harnessed by the TC diminishes alongside a decrease in storm intensity in the presence of VWS. In the sheared TC, the ascending branch of the thermodynamic cycles of TC shifts toward lower entropy, which is related to the reduction of entropy in the eyewall and/or the increase of entropy and enhanced upward motion outside the eyewall. Moreover, the descending leg to shift toward higher entropy due to the increase in entropy and weakening of downward motion in both the ambient environment and upper troposphere. These changes in the ascending and descending branches could reduce the work done by the heat engine cycle, with the former playing a primary role in the presence of VWS.

Given that the ascending branch is influenced by the eyewall and the rainbands outside the eyewall under VWS, the thermodynamic pathways could be categorized into inner ventilation and outer ventilation based on the location of their roles. The pathways associated with inner ventilation primarily reduce the entropy in the eyewall. In addition to the conventional low- and mid-level ventilation, the inner ventilation also encompasses new pathways entering the mid-level eyewall after descending from the upper level and ascending from the boundary layer. Conversely, the pathways of outer ventilation are related to the increase the entropy outside the eyewall. These include the ascent of high-entropy air to the middle and upper troposphere related to the inner and outer rainbands, the outward advection of high-entropy air from the eyewall in the mid- and upper-levels, and air warming by the descending draft from the upper to the mid-level troposphere. These insights contribute to a nuanced understanding of the sophisticated interactions within TCs and their response to VWS.

© 2024 American Meteorological Society. This is an Author Accepted Manuscript distributed under the terms of the default AMS reuse license. For information regarding reuse and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Zhe-Min Tan, School of Atmospheric Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing, China, Email: zmtan@nju.edu.cn
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