Are Special Processes at Work in the Rapid Intensification of Tropical Cyclones?

Roman Kowch Science Systems and Applications, Inc., Hampton, Virginia

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Kerry Emanuel Lorenz Center, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts

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Abstract

Probably not. Frequency distributions of intensification and dissipation developed from synthetic open-ocean tropical cyclone data show no evidence of significant departures from exponential distributions, though there is some evidence for a fat tail of dissipation rates. This suggests that no special factors govern high intensification rates and that tropical cyclone intensification and dissipation are controlled by statistically random environmental and internal variability.

Corresponding author address: Kerry Emanuel, MIT, Rm. 54-1814, 77 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02139. E-mail: emanuel@mit.edu

Abstract

Probably not. Frequency distributions of intensification and dissipation developed from synthetic open-ocean tropical cyclone data show no evidence of significant departures from exponential distributions, though there is some evidence for a fat tail of dissipation rates. This suggests that no special factors govern high intensification rates and that tropical cyclone intensification and dissipation are controlled by statistically random environmental and internal variability.

Corresponding author address: Kerry Emanuel, MIT, Rm. 54-1814, 77 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02139. E-mail: emanuel@mit.edu
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