Abstract

Transports and net fluxes of surface wave energy and momentum inside tropical cyclones (TCs) are analyzed with wave spectra acquired by hurricane hunters. Previous analyses of dominant wave properties show primary feature of sinusoidal azimuthal variation. Transports calculated from directional wave spectra are also primarily sinusoidal, which is modeled as a harmonic series. The result reveals that forward transport peaks are in the right-front quarter relative to the TC heading, and somewhat weaker valleys of backward transports are in the left-back quarter. Rightward transport peaks are in the right-back quarter and stronger leftward transport valleys are in the left-front quarter. Net fluxes are derived analytically from the gradients of transports. Their azimuthal variations are primarily bi-harmonic with forward trend confined in a slightly-left-tilted parallel channel about a width two to three radius of maximum wind (RMW) on each side of the TC center. Leftward net fluxes are in a parallel channel of similar size and normal to that of the forward net fluxes. In vectors, the right-back quarter is a region of net influxes of energy and momentum. The TC central region has strong local fluxes that lead to bifurcation of the flux lines into leftward and forward paths. This may play a role in stabilizing the TC propagation. The net fluxes are a small fraction of the expected energy and momentum inputs from local wind except near the eye region. Within about 30 km from the TC center the local wind speed may exceed 30 m/s and the net flexes can exceed 50% of the expected local wind input.

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