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Kotaro Bessho, Tetsuo Nakazawa, Shuji Nishimura, and Koji Kato


The temperature profiles of organized cloud clusters developing or not developing (nondeveloping) into tropical storms (TSs; maximum surface wind >34 kt) over the western North Pacific in 2004 were investigated using Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU) observations in combination with the independently created early stage Dvorak analysis. Typical temperature profiles of the developing and nondeveloping cloud clusters were compared. From this comparison, positive upper-troposphere temperature anomalies were found in both cluster types; however, the spatial extent of the temperature anomalies for the developing cloud clusters was larger than those of the nondeveloping cloud clusters. Statistical analysis was performed on the temperature anomalies near the center of all clusters retrieved from AMSU observational data. Findings indicate that the area-average temperature anomalies increased along with the intensity of the clusters indicated by the Dvorak T-number classification. Using time series analysis of upper-level temperature anomalies associated with these cloud clusters, a definition of warm core structures showing the temperature anomaly greater than a threshold (WCT) was created. WCT exists when the area averaged temperature anomaly exceeds 0.9 K. Using this definition, almost 70% of the cloud clusters that had WCTs later became TSs, while 85% of those that did not have WCTs eventually dissipated without being classified as a TS. For the WCT clusters that developed into TSs, the lead time from the detection of their AMSU-based WCT to their classification as TSs was 27.7 h. These results indicate that there is a good possibility that the detection and forecasting of tropical cyclone formation, particularly those storms that later may become classified as TSs, will be improved using temperature anomalies derived from AMSU data.

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Takumi Honda, Takemasa Miyoshi, Guo-Yuan Lien, Seiya Nishizawa, Ryuji Yoshida, Sachiho A. Adachi, Koji Terasaki, Kozo Okamoto, Hirofumi Tomita, and Kotaro Bessho


Japan’s new geostationary satellite Himawari-8, the first of a series of the third-generation geostationary meteorological satellites including GOES-16, has been operational since July 2015. Himawari-8 produces high-resolution observations with 16 frequency bands every 10 min for full disk, and every 2.5 min for local regions. This study aims to assimilate all-sky every-10-min infrared (IR) radiances from Himawari-8 with a regional numerical weather prediction model and to investigate its impact on real-world tropical cyclone (TC) analyses and forecasts for the first time. The results show that the assimilation of Himawari-8 IR radiances improves the analyzed TC structure in both inner-core and outer-rainband regions. The TC intensity forecasts are also improved due to Himawari-8 data because of the improved TC structure analysis.

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Hanako Y. Inoue, Kenichi Kusunoki, Wataru Kato, Hiroto Suzuki, Toshiaki Imai, Tetsuya Takemi, Kotaro Bessho, Masahisa Nakazato, Shunsuke Hoshino, Wataru Mashiko, Syugo Hayashi, Takaaki Fukuhara, Toru Shibata, Hiroshi Yamauchi, and Osamu Suzuki


Life histories of low-level misocyclones, one of which corresponded to a tornado vortex within a winter storm in the Japan Sea coastal region on 1 December 2007, were observed from close range by X-band Doppler radar of the East Japan Railway Company. Continuous plan position indicator (PPI) observations at 30-s intervals at the low-elevation angle revealed at least four cyclonic misocyclones within the head of the comma-shaped echo of the vortical disturbance under winter monsoon conditions. The meso-β-scale vortical disturbance developed within the weak frontal zone at the leading edge of cold-air outbreaks.

High-resolution observation of misocyclones revealed the detailed structures of these misocyclones and their temporal evolution. As the parent storm evolved, a low-level convergence line was observed at the edge of the easternmost misocyclone. This convergence line was considered to be important for the initiation and development of the misocyclones and the tornado through vortex stretching. The strongest misocyclone gradually intensified as its diameter contracted until landfall, and then began to dissipate soon after landfall. The temporal evolution of the misocyclones through landfall is discussed.

Surface wind and pressure variations suggested a cyclonic vortex passage, which was consistent with the passage of the radar-derived misocyclone. The observed pressure drop was also consistent with that computed from the cyclostrophic equation for the modified Rankine vortex. The observed behavior of two adjacent misocyclones was primarily consistent with the rotational flow associated with the other misocyclone. The generation and development processes of the tornado and misocyclones are discussed.

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