The Response of an Axisymmetric Model Tropical Cyclone to Local Variations of Sea Surface Temperature

Simon W-J. Chang Jaycor, Alexandira, VA 22304

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Abstract

An axisymmetric, multilayer, numerical tropical cyclone model with a well-resolved planetary boundary layer is used to test the response of local, instantaneous changes of sea surface temperature (SST). One experiment shows that the storm's intensity is steadily decreased as the SST in the inner 300 km is instantaneously cooled by 2°C. However, in the second experiment, in which the SST is cooled by 2°C outside the radius of 300 km, the storm shows no immediate and appreciable weakening. The intensity of the tropical cyclone in this case is maintained by enhanced evaporation in the inner 300 km and increased baroclinicity.

Abstract

An axisymmetric, multilayer, numerical tropical cyclone model with a well-resolved planetary boundary layer is used to test the response of local, instantaneous changes of sea surface temperature (SST). One experiment shows that the storm's intensity is steadily decreased as the SST in the inner 300 km is instantaneously cooled by 2°C. However, in the second experiment, in which the SST is cooled by 2°C outside the radius of 300 km, the storm shows no immediate and appreciable weakening. The intensity of the tropical cyclone in this case is maintained by enhanced evaporation in the inner 300 km and increased baroclinicity.

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