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Simulations of the Extratropical Transition of Tropical Cyclones: Phasing between the Upper-Level Trough and Tropical Cyclones

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  • 1 Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • | 2 Department of Meteorology, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California
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Abstract

Whether the tropical cyclone remnants will become a significant extratropical cyclone during the reintensification stage of extratropical transition is a complex problem because of the uncertainty in the tropical cyclone, the midlatitude circulation, the subtropical anticyclone, and the nonlinear interactions among these systems. In a previous study, the authors simulated the impact of the strength of the midlatitude circulation trough without changing its phasing with the tropical cyclone. In this study, the impact of phasing is simulated by fixing the initial position and amplitude of the midlatitude trough and varying the initial position of the tropical cyclone. The peak intensity of the extratropical cyclone following the extratropical transition is strongly dependent on the phasing, which leads to different degrees of interaction with the midlatitude baroclinic zone. Many aspects of the simulated circulation, temperature, and precipitation fields appear quite realistic for the reintensifying and dissipating cases. Threshold values of various parameters in quadrants near and far from the tropical cyclone are extracted that discriminate well between reintensifiers and dissipators. The selection and distribution of threshold parameters are consistent with the Petterssen type-B conceptual model for extratropical cyclone development. Thus, these simulations suggest that phasing between the tropical cyclone and the midlatitude trough is a critical factor in predicting the reintensification stage of extratropical transition.

Corresponding author address: Elizabeth Ritchie, University of New Mexico, ECE Building, Room 125, Albuquerque, NM 87131. Email: ritchie@ece.unm.edu

Abstract

Whether the tropical cyclone remnants will become a significant extratropical cyclone during the reintensification stage of extratropical transition is a complex problem because of the uncertainty in the tropical cyclone, the midlatitude circulation, the subtropical anticyclone, and the nonlinear interactions among these systems. In a previous study, the authors simulated the impact of the strength of the midlatitude circulation trough without changing its phasing with the tropical cyclone. In this study, the impact of phasing is simulated by fixing the initial position and amplitude of the midlatitude trough and varying the initial position of the tropical cyclone. The peak intensity of the extratropical cyclone following the extratropical transition is strongly dependent on the phasing, which leads to different degrees of interaction with the midlatitude baroclinic zone. Many aspects of the simulated circulation, temperature, and precipitation fields appear quite realistic for the reintensifying and dissipating cases. Threshold values of various parameters in quadrants near and far from the tropical cyclone are extracted that discriminate well between reintensifiers and dissipators. The selection and distribution of threshold parameters are consistent with the Petterssen type-B conceptual model for extratropical cyclone development. Thus, these simulations suggest that phasing between the tropical cyclone and the midlatitude trough is a critical factor in predicting the reintensification stage of extratropical transition.

Corresponding author address: Elizabeth Ritchie, University of New Mexico, ECE Building, Room 125, Albuquerque, NM 87131. Email: ritchie@ece.unm.edu

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