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Candis L. Weatherford and William M. Gray

Abstract

This is the second of two papers on the structure of northwest Pacific tropical cyclones as revealed by U.S. Air Force aircraft reconnaissance. This paper describes the varying structure of the tropical cyclone's outer-radius wind profile in relation to its inner-core intensity or minimum sea level pressure (MSLP) and eye-size characteristics. We explore this inner- to outer-radius structural relationship and its variability for the full range of cyclone central pressures, outer-core (1°–2.5° radius) wind strengths, and for radial extent of 15 m s−1 (30 kt) and 25 m s−1 (50 kt) surface winds.

Results show that outer-radius wind strength and inner-core intensity can vary greatly and that there is only a weak relationship between these parameters. However, if information is available on whether an eye-wall cloud exists and what the size of the eye is, then a significant reduction in the wide variance between MSLP and outer wind radius is observed.

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Candis L. Weatherford and William M. Gray

Abstract

This is the first of two papers describing the structure of northwest Pacific tropical cyclones as revealed by U.S. Air Force aircraft reconnaissance. This first paper describes the background philosophy for this research, the types of flight missions flown, data reduction procedures, and the general climatological characteristics of this region's typhoons and tropical storms. Analysis has been performed on 700 mb aircraft data from ova 500 Guam-based, WC-130 aircraft missions into 66 tropical cyclones, two-thirds of which were of typhoon intensity sometime during their life cycle. All flight missions followed similar standardized flight tracks. Data are analyzed for the three seasons of 1980–82.

This aircraft dataset is unique in providing wind and pressure-height profile information at radial resolutions of 0.5° (56 km) from a tropical cyclone's center out to 4° radius. This allows a cyclone°s outer-core wind strength to be measured in relation to its inner-core intensity. The varying relationship between cyclone inner-core intensity and outer-core wind strength is analyzed in relation to cyclone intensity, latitude, season, time of day, and direction and speed of cyclone motion.

Part II of this paper will discuss the variability between inner- and outer-core wind relationships and how this variability can be reduced by knowing various cyclone eye-size characteristics.

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