The Extratropical Transition of Tropical Cyclone Edisoana (1990)

Kyle S. Griffin Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, University at Albany, State University of New York, Albany, New York

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Lance F. Bosart Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, University at Albany, State University of New York, Albany, New York

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Abstract

Documentation of southwest Indian Ocean (SWIO) tropical cyclones (TCs) and extratropical transition (ET) events is sparse in the refereed literature. The authors present a climatology of SWIO TC and ET events for 1989–2013. The SWIO averages ~9 tropical cyclones (TCs) per year in this modern era. Of these TCs, ~44% undergo extratropical transition (ET), or ~four per year. A case study of TC Edisoana (1990), the most rapidly intensifying SWIO post-ET TC between 1989 and 2013, shows that extratropical interactions began when an approaching trough embedded in the subtropical jet stream (STJ) induced ET on 7 March. As Edisoana underwent ET, a subtropical ridge downstream amplified in response to poleward-directed positive potential vorticity (PV) advection associated with diabatically (convectively) driven upper-level outflow from TC Edisoana. This amplifying lower-latitude ridge phased with a lower-amplitude higher-latitude ridge embedded in the polar front jet (PFJ), resulting in the merger of the two jets. This ridge phasing and jet merger, combined with the approach of an upstream trough embedded in the PFJ, resulted in a decrease in the half-wavelength between the approaching trough and the downstream phased ridges and provided extratropical cyclone Edisoana with a prime environment for rapid reintensification (RI). Poleward-directed positive PV advection into the phased ridge strengthened the upper-level jet downstream of Edisoana, which provided the primary baroclinic forcing throughout the RI phase. A backward trajectory analysis suggests that strong diabatic heating enhanced favorable synoptic-scale forcing for ascent from the upstream and downstream jet streaks and played a crucial role in the deepening of Edisoana through the ET and RI periods.

Corresponding author address: Kyle S. Griffin, University of Wisconsin—Madison, 1225 W. Dayton St., Madison, WI 53706. E-mail: ksgriffin2@wisc.edu

Abstract

Documentation of southwest Indian Ocean (SWIO) tropical cyclones (TCs) and extratropical transition (ET) events is sparse in the refereed literature. The authors present a climatology of SWIO TC and ET events for 1989–2013. The SWIO averages ~9 tropical cyclones (TCs) per year in this modern era. Of these TCs, ~44% undergo extratropical transition (ET), or ~four per year. A case study of TC Edisoana (1990), the most rapidly intensifying SWIO post-ET TC between 1989 and 2013, shows that extratropical interactions began when an approaching trough embedded in the subtropical jet stream (STJ) induced ET on 7 March. As Edisoana underwent ET, a subtropical ridge downstream amplified in response to poleward-directed positive potential vorticity (PV) advection associated with diabatically (convectively) driven upper-level outflow from TC Edisoana. This amplifying lower-latitude ridge phased with a lower-amplitude higher-latitude ridge embedded in the polar front jet (PFJ), resulting in the merger of the two jets. This ridge phasing and jet merger, combined with the approach of an upstream trough embedded in the PFJ, resulted in a decrease in the half-wavelength between the approaching trough and the downstream phased ridges and provided extratropical cyclone Edisoana with a prime environment for rapid reintensification (RI). Poleward-directed positive PV advection into the phased ridge strengthened the upper-level jet downstream of Edisoana, which provided the primary baroclinic forcing throughout the RI phase. A backward trajectory analysis suggests that strong diabatic heating enhanced favorable synoptic-scale forcing for ascent from the upstream and downstream jet streaks and played a crucial role in the deepening of Edisoana through the ET and RI periods.

Corresponding author address: Kyle S. Griffin, University of Wisconsin—Madison, 1225 W. Dayton St., Madison, WI 53706. E-mail: ksgriffin2@wisc.edu
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