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Comments on “Multiscale Structure and Evolution of Hurricane Earl (2010) during Rapid Intensification”

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  • 1 University of Colorado Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • | 2 Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, Ulsan, South Korea
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Abstract

This comment addresses the Tropical Storm (TS) Earl upper-level vortex structure changes during a critical stage leading to the onset of rapid intensification as described by Rogers et al. Whereas the first NOAA WP-3D mission in TS Earl provided evidence of a shallow, broad vortex structure, the second WP-3D mission just 12 h later documented a deep, vertically stacked vortex undergoing rapid intensification. The authors attribute this vortex structure change to vertical alignment processes between the low-level Earl vortex and an upper-tropospheric mesoscale vortex about 50 km to the east in the mission 1 analyses.

An alternate environmental control explanation is proposed in which a special kind of upper-tropospheric vertical wind shear (VWS) associated with the outflow of Hurricane Danielle to the northwest of TS Earl is the primary factor. Two estimates of the vertical wind shear changes are interpreted relative to the diurnal convective maximum/minimum to explain how the shallow vortex during mission 1 may have been created. It is proposed that the vigorous convection over sea surface temperatures of about 30°C during the diurnal convective maximum period between mission 1 and mission 2 was able to offset the moderate VWS as Hurricane Danielle had moved farther away from Earl. Thus, an explanation for the vertically stacked TS Earl vortex observed during mission 2 in terms of an environmental VWS modulation of the diurnally varying convective processes is proposed as an alternative to a vortex realignment.

© 2017 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author e-mail: Russell L. Elsberry, elsberrylr@comcast.net

The original article that was the subject of this comment/reply can be found at http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/MWR-D-14-00175.1.

Abstract

This comment addresses the Tropical Storm (TS) Earl upper-level vortex structure changes during a critical stage leading to the onset of rapid intensification as described by Rogers et al. Whereas the first NOAA WP-3D mission in TS Earl provided evidence of a shallow, broad vortex structure, the second WP-3D mission just 12 h later documented a deep, vertically stacked vortex undergoing rapid intensification. The authors attribute this vortex structure change to vertical alignment processes between the low-level Earl vortex and an upper-tropospheric mesoscale vortex about 50 km to the east in the mission 1 analyses.

An alternate environmental control explanation is proposed in which a special kind of upper-tropospheric vertical wind shear (VWS) associated with the outflow of Hurricane Danielle to the northwest of TS Earl is the primary factor. Two estimates of the vertical wind shear changes are interpreted relative to the diurnal convective maximum/minimum to explain how the shallow vortex during mission 1 may have been created. It is proposed that the vigorous convection over sea surface temperatures of about 30°C during the diurnal convective maximum period between mission 1 and mission 2 was able to offset the moderate VWS as Hurricane Danielle had moved farther away from Earl. Thus, an explanation for the vertically stacked TS Earl vortex observed during mission 2 in terms of an environmental VWS modulation of the diurnally varying convective processes is proposed as an alternative to a vortex realignment.

© 2017 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author e-mail: Russell L. Elsberry, elsberrylr@comcast.net

The original article that was the subject of this comment/reply can be found at http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/MWR-D-14-00175.1.

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