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Numerical Simulation of Cyclone Sidr Using a Cloud-Resolving Model: Characteristics and Formation Process of an Outer Rainband

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  • 1 Hydrospheric Atmospheric Research Center, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan, and Department of Physics, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • | 2 Hydrospheric Atmospheric Research Center, Nagoya University, Nagoya, and Frontier Research Center for Global Change, Yokohama, Japan
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Abstract

Cyclone Sidr, one of the most devastating tropical cyclones that resulted in several thousand deaths and substantial damages, developed in the north Indian Ocean and made landfall over the Bangladesh coast on 15 November 2007. Observation and simulation results show that Sidr was embedded in a nonuniform environment and contained an intense outer rainband to the east of its center and a significant frontal band to the northwest. A detailed study of the outer rainband is performed by numerical simulation.

The eastern band was a long, quasi-straight shape in the meridional direction that remained stationary relative to the cyclone center. This band was composed of convective cells that developed southeast of the center within a synoptic-scale convergence zone and propagated along the band toward the northeast quadrant. The speed of the downwind-propagating cells was greater than that of the cyclone, which resulted in a convective cluster northeast of the center. Only the downwind portion of the band consisted of convection with stratiform rain, whereas the upwind and middle portions contained active convective cells without stratiform rain.

The band was located between the synoptic-scale flows of a weakly sheared, gradient-balanced westerly and a strongly sheared, nongradient-balanced prevailing southerly caused by the complex terrain of the Bay of Bengal’s southeast region. Low-level convergence along the band was dominated by cross-band flow from both sides of the band and was confined below 3 km. As the cyclone moved northward, the convergence zone resulted in the extension of band length up to ~800 km. The southerly at the eastern side of the center gradually accelerated and was directed toward the center by a strong pressure gradient force. The flow accumulated a substantial amount of water vapor from the sea in addition to the increased moisture in the lower troposphere, resulting in further intensification of the convective cells.

Corresponding author address: Nasreen Akter, Hydrospheric Atmospheric Research Center, Nagoya University, Nagoya 464-8601, Japan. E-mail: akter@rain.hyarc.nagoya-u.ac.jp

Abstract

Cyclone Sidr, one of the most devastating tropical cyclones that resulted in several thousand deaths and substantial damages, developed in the north Indian Ocean and made landfall over the Bangladesh coast on 15 November 2007. Observation and simulation results show that Sidr was embedded in a nonuniform environment and contained an intense outer rainband to the east of its center and a significant frontal band to the northwest. A detailed study of the outer rainband is performed by numerical simulation.

The eastern band was a long, quasi-straight shape in the meridional direction that remained stationary relative to the cyclone center. This band was composed of convective cells that developed southeast of the center within a synoptic-scale convergence zone and propagated along the band toward the northeast quadrant. The speed of the downwind-propagating cells was greater than that of the cyclone, which resulted in a convective cluster northeast of the center. Only the downwind portion of the band consisted of convection with stratiform rain, whereas the upwind and middle portions contained active convective cells without stratiform rain.

The band was located between the synoptic-scale flows of a weakly sheared, gradient-balanced westerly and a strongly sheared, nongradient-balanced prevailing southerly caused by the complex terrain of the Bay of Bengal’s southeast region. Low-level convergence along the band was dominated by cross-band flow from both sides of the band and was confined below 3 km. As the cyclone moved northward, the convergence zone resulted in the extension of band length up to ~800 km. The southerly at the eastern side of the center gradually accelerated and was directed toward the center by a strong pressure gradient force. The flow accumulated a substantial amount of water vapor from the sea in addition to the increased moisture in the lower troposphere, resulting in further intensification of the convective cells.

Corresponding author address: Nasreen Akter, Hydrospheric Atmospheric Research Center, Nagoya University, Nagoya 464-8601, Japan. E-mail: akter@rain.hyarc.nagoya-u.ac.jp
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