Abstract

This study examines the diurnal variation of the convective area and eye size of 30 rapidly intensifying tropical cyclones (RI TCs) that occurred in the western North Pacific from 2015 to 2017 utilizing Himawari-8 satellite imagery. The convective area can be divided into the active convective area (ACA), mixed phase, and inactive convective area (IACA) based on specific thresholds of brightness temperature. In general, ACA tends to develop vigorously from late afternoon to early the next morning, while mixed phase and IACA develop during the day. This diurnal pattern indicates the potential for ACA to evolve into mixed phase or IACA over time. From the 30 samples, RI TCs tend to have at least a single-completed diurnal signal of ACA inside the radius of maximum wind (RMW) during the rapidly intensifying period. In the same period, the RMW also contracts significantly. Meanwhile, more intense storms such as those of category 4 or 5 hurricane intensity are apt to have continuous ACA inside the RMW and maintain eyewall convective clouds. These diurnal patterns of the ACA could vary depending on the impact of large-scale environments such as vertical wind shear, ocean heat content, environmental mesoscale convection, and terrain. The linear regression analysis shows that from the tropical storm stage, RI commences after a slow intensification period, which enhances both the primary circulation and eyewall convective cloud. Finally, after the eye structure appears in satellite imagery, its size changes inversely to the diurnal variation of the convective activity (e.g., the eye size becomes larger during the daytime).

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