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Xiaodong Tang, Zhe-Min Tan, Juan Fang, Erin B. Munsell, and Fuqing Zhang


This work examines the impacts of the diurnal radiation contrast on the contraction rate of the radius of maximum wind (RMW) during intensification of Hurricane Edouard (2014) through convection-permitting simulations. Rapid contraction of RMW occurs both in the low and midlevels for the control run and the sensitivity run without solar insolation, while the tropical cyclone contracts more slowly in the low levels and later in the midlevels and thereafter fails to intensify continuously in the absence of the night phase, under weak vertical wind shear (~4 m s−1). The clouds at the top of the boundary layer absorb solar shortwave heating during the daytime, which enhanced the temperature inversion there and increased the convective inhibition, while nighttime destabilization and moistening in low levels through radiative cooling decrease convective inhibition and favor more convection inside the RMW than in the daytime phase. The budget analysis of the tangential wind tendency reveals that the greater positive radial vorticity flux inside of the RMW is the key RMW contraction mechanism in the boundary layer at night because of the enhanced convection. However, the greater positive vertical advection of tangential wind inside of the RMW dominates the RMW contraction in the midlevels.

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Yuqing Wang, Yuanlong Li, Jing Xu, Zhe-Min Tan, and Yanluan Lin


In this study, a simple energetically based dynamical system model of tropical cyclone (TC) intensification is modified to account for the observed dependence of the intensification rate (IR) on the storm intensity. According to the modified dynamical system model, the TC IR is controlled by the intensification potential (IP) and the weakening rate due to surface friction beneath the eyewall. The IP is determined primarily by the rate of change in the potential energy available for a TC to develop, which is a function of the thermodynamic conditions of the atmosphere and the underlying ocean, and the dynamical efficiency of the TC system. The latter depends strongly on the degree of convective organization within the eyewall and the inner-core inertial stability of the storm. At a relatively low TC intensity, the IP of the intensifying storm is larger than the frictional weakening rate, leading to an increase in the TC IR with TC intensity in this stage. As the storm reaches an intermediate intensity of 30–40 m s−1, the difference between IP and frictional weakening rate reaches its maximum, concurrent with the maximum IR. Later on, the IR decreases as the TC intensifies further because the frictional dissipation increases with TC intensity at a faster rate than the IP. Finally, the storm approaches its maximum potential intensity (MPI) and the IR becomes zero. The modified dynamical system model is validated with results from idealized simulations with an axisymmetric nonhydrostatic, cloud-resolving model.

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Xiaodong Tang, Zhe-Min Tan, Juan Fang, Y. Qiang Sun, and Fuqing Zhang


The sensitivity of the secondary eyewall formation (SEF) of Hurricane Edouard (2014) to the diurnal solar insolation cycle is examined with convection-permitting simulations. A control run with a real diurnal radiation cycle and a sensitivity experiment without solar insolation are conducted. In the control run, there is an area of relatively weak convection between the outer rainbands and the primary eyewall, that is, a moat region. This area is highly sensitive to solar shortwave radiative heating, mostly in the mid- to upper levels in the daytime, which leads to a net stabilization effect and suppresses convective development. Moreover, the heated surface air weakens the wind-induced surface heat exchange (WISHE) feedback between the surface fluxes (that promote convection) and convective heating (that feeds into the secondary circulation and then the tangential wind). Consequently, a typical SEF with a clear moat follows. In the sensitivity experiment, in contrast, net radiative cooling leads to persistent active inner rainbands between the primary eyewall and outer rainbands, and these, along with the absence of the rapid filamentation zone, are detrimental to moat formation and thus to SEF. Sawyer–Eliassen diagnoses further suggest that the radiation-induced difference in diabatic heating is more important than the vortex wind structure for moat formation and SEF. These results suggest that the SEF is highly sensitive to solar insolation.

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