Abstract

Several previous studies have demonstrated the significant sensitivity of simulated tropical cyclone structure and intensity to variations in surface-exchange coefficients for enthalpy (Ck) and momentum (Cd), respectively. In this study we investigate the consistency of the estimated peak intensity, intensification rate, and steady-state structure between an analytical model and idealized axisymmetric numerical simulations for both constant Ck and Cd values and various wind speed–dependent representations of Ck and Cd. The present analysis with constant Ck and Cd values demonstrates that the maximum wind speed is similar for identical Ck/Cd values less than 1, regardless of whether changes were made to Ck or Cd. However, for a given Ck/Cd greater than 1, the simulated and theoretical maximum wind speed are both greater if Cd is decreased compared to Ck increased. This behavior results because of a smaller enthalpy disequilibrium at the radius of maximum winds for larger Ck. Additionally, the intensification rate is shown to increase with Ck and Cd and the steady-state normalized wind speed beyond the radius of maximum winds is shown to increase with increasing Cd. Experiments with wind speed–dependent Ck and Cd were found to be generally consistent, in terms of the intensification rate and the simulated and analytical-model-estimated maximum wind speed, with the experiments with constant Ck and Cd.

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