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Chun-Chieh Wu

Abstract

Numerical integrations using the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) hurricane model were performed to study the evolution of Typhoon Gladys (1994) and its interaction with the Taiwan terrain. Consistent with most previous studies, the Taiwan topography results in the deceleration of Gladys’s translation speed and southward deviation as it approaches Taiwan. On the other hand, Gladys accelerates northwestward while passing Taiwan, which is likely to be related to the moist processes, and differs from the track pattern in the dry model of Lin et al. Although the GFDL hurricane model forecast underestimates Gladys’s intensity, the model can capture the evolution of Gladys’s intensity, especially its weakening during landfall, which is primarily due to the cutoff of the water vapor supply in the boundary layer as Gladys approached the Taiwan terrain. Other mesoscale phenomena, including the pattern of heavy precipitation and the formation of secondary lows, are well simulated by the model, though their locations are somewhat different from those observed. Detailed analyses indicate that the surface low pressure center to the east of the Central Mountain Range (CMR) is induced by the downslope adiabatic warming (foehn) associated with the circulation of Gladys. The quasi-stationary secondary low to the west of the CMR is mainly induced by the environmental easterly flow over the CMR, while the downslope adiabatic warming associated with the circulation of Gladys acts to enhance it as Gladys is close to Taiwan. The potential vorticity budget analysis indicates that the condensational heating plays a major role in the potential vorticity evolution around the storm, while the surface frictional dissipation of the potential vorticity becomes more significant as Gladys is over the Taiwan terrain. Finally, the experiment with a larger and stronger initial typhoon vortex indicates that different initial specification of a typhoon vortex can result in a different track pattern and thus leads to a totally different typhoon–topography interaction, suggesting the importance of typhoon initialization for storm prediction near Taiwan.

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Chun-Chieh Wu
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Chun-Chieh Wu and Yoshio Kurihara

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The interaction between a hurricane and its environment is studied by analysing the generation and influence of potential vorticity (PV) from the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory hurricane model analysis system. Two sets of numerical experiments are performed: one with and the other without a bogused hurricane vortex in the initial time, for cases of Hurricanes Bob (1991), Gilbert (1988), and Andrew (1992).

The PV budget analysis of Bob shows that the condensational heating within the vortex redistributes the PV, causing a PV sink in the upper part of the vortex and a PV source in the lower part. This tendency is compensated for largely, but not entirely, by the upward transport of high-PV air from the lower levels to the upper levels. The net effect contributes to the increase of the negative upper-level PV anomaly during the vortex intensification period. This result indicates that the diabatic heating effect plays a crucial role in the evolution of the PV field in hurricanes. It also suggests the importance of accurate representation of the heating profile in hurricane models.

It is shown that the negative upper-level PV anomaly is spread out by the upper-level outflow and the large-scale background flow. The impact of the spread of the negative upper PV anomaly to the storm is quantitatively evaluated by computing the nonlinear balanced flow associated with the PV perturbation. Notable contribution to the steering of the storm from the upper-level PV anomaly is found. The result supports the theory advanced by Wu and Emanuel concerning the effect of the upper negative PV anomaly on hurricane motion. This study also indicates the need of enhanced observation and accurate analysis and prediction in the upper troposphere in order to improve hurricane track forecasting.

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Kosuke Ito and Chun-Chieh Wu

Abstract

A new sensitivity analysis method is proposed for the ensemble prediction system in which a tropical cyclone (TC) position is taken as a metric. Sensitivity is defined as a slope of linear regression (or its approximation) between state variable and a scalar representing the TC position based on ensemble simulation. The experiment results illustrate important regions for ensemble TC track forecast. The typhoon-position-oriented sensitivity analysis (TyPOS) is applied to Typhoon Shanshan (2006) for the verification time of up to 48 h. The sensitivity field of the TC central latitude with respect to the vorticity field obtained from large-scale random initial perturbation is characterized by a horizontally tilted pattern centered at the initial TC position. These sensitivity signals are generally maximized in the middle troposphere and are far more significant than those with respect to the divergence field. The results are consistent with the sensitivity signals obtained from existing methods. The verification experiments indicate that the signals from TyPOS quantitatively reflect an ensemble-mean position change as a response to the initial perturbation. Another experiment with Typhoon Dolphin (2008) demonstrates the long-term analysis of forecast sensitivity up to 96 h. Several additional tests have also been carried out to investigate the dependency among ensemble members, the impacts of using different horizontal grid spacing, and the effectiveness of ensemble-Kalman-filter-based perturbations.

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Kuan-Chieh Huang and Chun-Chieh Wu

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Tropical cyclones (TCs) encountering the terrain of Taiwan usually experience prominent track deflection, resulting in uncertainty in TC track forecasts. The underlying mechanisms of TC deflection are examined to better understand the pattern of TC tracks under various flow regimes. In this study, idealized experiments are carried out utilizing the Advanced Research version of the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model. This study investigates the motion of a TC that is deflected southward while moving westward toward an idealized terrain similar to Taiwan. An analysis of both the flow asymmetries and the potential vorticity tendency (PVT) demonstrates that horizontal advection contributes to the southward movement of the TC. The track deflection is examined in two separate time periods, with different mechanisms leading to the southward movement. Changes in the background flow induced by the terrain first cause the large-scale steering current to push the TC southward while the TC is still far from the terrain. As the TC approaches the idealized topography, the role of the inner-core dynamics becomes important, and the TC terrain-induced channeling effect results in further southward deflection. Asymmetries in the midlevel flow also develop during this period, in part associated with the effect of vertical momentum transport. The combination of the large-scale environmental flow, the low-level channeling effect, and asymmetries in the midlevel flow all contribute to the southward deflection of the TC track.

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Chuan-Chieh Chang and Chun-Chieh Wu

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The processes leading to the rapid intensification (RI) of Typhoon Megi (2010) are explored with a convection-permitting full-physics model and a sensitivity experiment using a different microphysical scheme. It is found that the temporary active convection, gradually strengthened primary circulation, and a warm core developing at midlevels tend to serve as precursors to RI. The potential vorticity (PV) budget and Sawyer–Eliassen model are utilized to examine the causes and effects of those precursors. Results show that the secondary circulation, triggered by the latent heat associated with active convection, acts to strengthen the mid- to upper-level primary circulation by transporting the larger momentum toward the upper layers. The increased inertial stability at mid- to upper levels not only increases the heating efficiency but also prevents the warm-core structure from being disrupted by the ventilation effect. The warming above 5 km effectively lowers the surface pressure.

It is identified that the strong secondary circulation helps to accomplish the midlevel warming within the eye. The results based on potential temperature (θ) budget suggest that the mean subsidence associated with detrainment of active convection is the major process contributing to the formation of a midlevel warm core. On the possible causes triggering the inner-core active convection, it is suggested that the gradually increased vortex-scale surface enthalpy flux has a leading role in the development of vigorous convection. The results also highlight the potentially dominant role of weak to moderate convection in the onset of RI, while the convective bursts play a supporting role. Based on the aforementioned analyses, a schematic diagram is shown to describe the plausible path leading to RI.

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Chieh-Jen Cheng and Chun-Chieh Wu

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Numerical simulations are conducted to examine the role of the wind-induced surface heat exchange (WISHE) mechanism in secondary eyewall formation (SEF). The control experiment exhibits a coherent secondary eyewall structure as quantified by various parameters (e.g., the azimuthal-mean tangential wind and vertical velocity). Prior to SEF, an area characterized by increasing diabatic heating, enhanced inertial stability, and increasing supergradient winds at the top of the boundary layer is observed outside the eyewall. While these characteristics offer the possibility of both balanced and unbalanced dynamical pathways to SEF, the focus of this study is to evaluate the impact of WISHE. To examine the sensitivity of SEF to WISHE, the surface wind used for the calculation of surface heat fluxes is capped at several designated values and at different radial intervals. When the heat fluxes are moderately suppressed around and outside the SEF region observed in the control experiment, sensitivity experiments show that the formation of the outer eyewall is delayed, and the intensity of both eyewalls is weaker. When the heat fluxes are strongly suppressed in the same region, SEF does not occur. In contrast, suppressing the surface heat fluxes in the storm’s inner-core region has limited effect on the evolution of the outer eyewall. This study provides important physical insight into SEF, indicating that WISHE plays a crucial role in SEF and tropical cyclone evolution.

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Chieh-Jen Cheng and Chun-Chieh Wu

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This study examines the role of surface heat fluxes, particularly in relation to the wind-induced surface heat exchange (WISHE) mechanism, in the rapid intensification (RI) of tropical cyclones (TCs). Sensitivity experiments with capped surface fluxes and thus reduced WISHE exhibit delayed RI and weaker peak intensity, while WISHE could affect the evolutions of TCs both before and after the onset of RI. Before RI, more WISHE leads to faster increase of equivalent potential temperature in the lower levels, resulting in more active and stronger convection. In addition, TCs in experiments with more WISHE reach a certain strength earlier, before the onset of RI. During the RI period, more surface heat fluxes could provide convective instability in the lower levels, and cause a consequent development in the convective activity. More efficient intensification in a TC is found with higher surface heat fluxes and larger inertial stability, leading to a stronger peak intensity, more significant and deeper warm core in TC center, and the axisymmetrization of convection in the higher levels. In both stages, different levels of WISHE alter the thermodynamic environment and convective-scale processes. In all, this study supports the crucial role of WISHE in affecting TC intensification rate for TCs with RI.

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Liguang Wu, Jia Liang, and Chun-Chieh Wu

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Typhoon Morakot made landfall on Taiwan with a record rainfall of 3031.5 mm during 6–13 August 2009. While previous studies have emphasized the influence of southwesterly winds associated with intraseasonal oscillations and monsoon surges on moisture supply, the interaction between Morakot and low-frequency monsoon flows and the resulting influence on the slow movement and asymmetric precipitation structure of the typhoon were examined observationally.

Embedded in multi-time-scale monsoonal flows, Morakot generally moved westward prior to its landfall on Taiwan and underwent a coalescence process first with a cyclonic gyre on the quasi-biweekly oscillation time scale and then with a cyclonic gyre on the Madden–Julian oscillation time scale. The coalescence enhanced the synoptic-scale southwesterly winds of Morakot and thus decreased its westward movement and turned the track northward, leading to an unusually long residence time in the vicinity of Taiwan. The resulting slow movement and collocation with the low-frequency gyres also maintained the major rainfall in southern Taiwan because the low-frequency flows played an important role in enhancing the winds on the southern side, especially during 6–9 August 2009. In addition to the lifting effect of the Taiwan terrain and the moisture supply associated with monsoon flows, the study suggests that the monsoonal influence maintained the major rainfall area in southern Taiwan through reducing the translation speed, shifting Morakot northward, and enhancing the low-frequency flows on the southern side of the typhoon. Since the enhanced low-frequency flows did not shift northward with the movement of Morakot, its primary rainfall expanded outward with time as the typhoon center moved northwestward after its landfall on Taiwan.

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Chun-Chieh Wu and Kerry A. Emanuel

Abstract

Flow fields from the model of Wu and Emanuel are presented. It is demonstrated that the interaction of background shear with a uniform source of low potential vorticity air at the storm top can produce many of the observed characteristics of hurricane outflow, including outflow jets. Our model is compared to other extant models of hurricane outflow.

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