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Peter. G. Black

Complicated internal-wave patterns are revealed in Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP) photographs of marine fog patches. Evidence for the reflection of atmospheric wave packets at water-land boundaries is contained in these patterns. Photographs of “arc,” or “ring,” clouds show that these clouds are associated with decaying maritime cumulonimbus clouds. The cloud-free inner ring delineates cold air that has been transported from aloft by thunderstorm downdrafts, thus inhibiting cumulus cloud development. There is no evidence to indicate that this clear inner ring is a result of cold-core eddies in the ocean. Other interesting cloud patterns revealed by ASTP photographs include 1) linear trails created in low stratocumulus cloud decks by passing ships, and 2) dome-shaped anvil clouds created by vigorous thunderstorms.

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David Atlas and Peter G. Black

SEASAT synthetic aperture radar (SAR) echoes from the sea have previously been shown to be the result of rain and winds produced by convective storms; rain damps the surface waves and causes echo-free holes, while the diverging winds associated with the downdraft generate waves and associated echoes surrounding the holes. Gust fronts are also evident. Such a snapshot from 8 July 1978 has been examined in conjunction with ground-based radar. This leads to the conclusion that the SAR storm footprints resulted from storm processes that occurred up to an hour or more prior to the snapshot. A sequence of events is discerned from the SAR imagery in which new cell growth is triggered in between the converging outflows of two preexisting cells. In turn, the new cell generates a mini–squall line along its expanding gust front. While such phenomena are well known over land, the spaceborne SAR now allows important inferences to be made about the nature and frequency of convective storms over the oceans. The storm effects on the sea have significant implications for spaceborne wind scatterometry and rainfall measurements. Some of the findings herein remain speculative because of the great distance to the Miami weather radar—the only source of corroborative data.

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Francis J. Mercerent and Peter G. Black

Abstract

No abstract available.

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Peter G. Black and Richard A. Anthes

Abstract

ATS-III satellite data and conventional aerological data are used to construct detailed wind analyses of the outflow layer for four hurricanes and one tropical storm. Harmonic analysis of these data, and of the data for a mean Atlantic hurricane and a mean Pacific typhoon, shows that wave numbers 1 and 2 around the circumference of the storm account for most of the variance of momentum and kinetic energy. Subtraction of the symmetric part of the vortex circulation from the total flow to yield the “asymmetric wind” reveals two eddies located in preferred quadrants of the storm. An anticyclonic eddy is found to the right and a cyclonic eddy to the left of the storm motion. These eddies transport absolute vorticity inward, opposing the outward transport by the mean circulation. They also transport a significant amount of negative relative angular momentum outward.

The presence of inertial (or dynamic) instability is investigated. Although substantial areas of negative absolute vorticity and anomalous anticyclonic winds exist in all cases, these areas are correlated so well that the regions of dynamic instability are small.

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Eric W. Uhlhorn and Peter G. Black

Abstract

Surface winds in hurricanes have been estimated remotely using the Stepped-Frequency Microwave Radiometer (SFMR) from the NOAA WP-3D aircraft for the past 15 years. Since the use of the GPS dropwindsonde system in hurricanes was first initiated in 1997, routine collocated SFMR and GPS surface wind estimates have been made. During the 1998, 1999, and 2001 hurricane seasons, a total of 249 paired samples were acquired and compared. The SFMR equivalent 1-min mean, 10-m level neutral stability winds were found to be biased high by 2.3 m s−1 relative to the 10-m GPS winds computed from an estimate of the mean boundary layer wind. Across the range of wind speeds from 10 to 60 m s−1, the rmse was 3.3 m s−1. The bias was found to be dependent on storm quadrant and independent of wind speed, a result that suggests a possible relationship between microwave brightness temperatures and surface wave properties. Tests of retrieved winds' sensitivities to sea surface temperature, salinity, atmospheric thermodynamic variability, and surface wind direction indicate wind speed errors of less than 1 m s−1 above 15 m s−1.

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Roger M. Wakimoto and Peter G. Black

A damage map documenting Hurricane Andrew's destructive landfall over southern Florida is presented. Vectors that represent the direction of winds causing damage to trees and structures are shown along with an F-scale rating in order to assess the strength of the near-surface winds. It is hypothesized that increased surface roughness once the hurricane made landfall may have contributed to a surface wind enhancement resulting in the strongest winds ever estimated (F3) for a landfall hurricane. This intense damage occurred primarily during the “second” period of strong winds associated with the east side of the eyewall. For the first time, a well-defined circulation inthe damage pattern by the second wind was documented. A superposition of radar data from Miami and Key West on top of the damage map provides the first detailed examination of the relationship between the eyewall and the surface flow field as estimated from the damage vectors.

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Peter G. Black and Greg J. Holland

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The boundary layer structure of Tropical Cyclone Kerry (1979) is investigated using composite analysis of research aircraft, surface ship, and automatic weather station observations. The boundary layer was moist, convective, and strongly confluent to the east of the tropical cyclone center but was dry, subsident, and diffluent to the west. The vertical momentum transport in the eastern convective sector of Kerry was around two to three times the surface frictional dissipation. In contrast, the stable boundary layer in the western sector consisted of a shallow mixed layer capped by an equivalent potential temperature minimum and a low-level jet, which underwent a marked diurnal oscillation. Three mechanisms appear to have contributed to the observed asymmetry: 1) a general, zonal distortion arose from cyclonic rotation across a gradient of earth vorticity; 2) a westerly environmental vertical shear produced forced ascent on the east side of the storm and subsidence on the west side throughout the lower and midtroposphere; and 3) the western sector boundary layer was modified by an upstream cold tongue generated by the tropical cyclone passage. The authors present evidence that substantial drying also resulted from shear-induced mixing of the subsident environmental air in the region of the low-level jet.

Thermal boundary layer budgets are derived using both a general mixing theory approach and direct flux calculations from aircraft reconnaissance data. Use of actual sea surface temperature fields are essential. The surface flux estimates of latent heat are near the average of previous studies, but the sensible heat fluxes are downward into the ocean. Since horizontal advection also cooled the boundary layer, the thermal structure was maintained by downward fluxes of sensible heat from the top of the boundary layer of around 100 W m−2. We conclude that the pattern of oceanic cooling directly determines the pattern of vertical air-sea and advective sensible heat fluxes and indirectly determines the pattern of latent heat fluxes through forcing of PBL drying at the downwind end of the SST cold pool. It further enhances the inward penetration and negative feedback resulting from an easterly trade wind surge associated with a mobile trough in the westerlies.

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PETER G. BLACK, HARRY V. SENN, and CHARLES L. COURTRIGHT

Abstract

Project Stormfury radar precipitation data gathered before, during, and after the multiple seedings of the eyewall region of hurricane Debbie on Aug. 18 and 20, 1969, are used to study changes in the eye configuration, the characteristics of the radar bright band, and the precipitation tilt. Increases in the echo-free area within the eye followed each of the five seedings on the 18th, but followed only one seeding on the 20th. Changes in major axis orientation followed only one seeding on the 18th, but followed each seeding on the 20th. Similar studies conducted recently on unmodified storms suggest that such changes do not occur naturally. However, the studies do not exclude this possibility. Changes in the radius of maximum winds follow closely the changes in eyewall radius. It is suggested that the different results on the 2 days might be attributable to seeding beyond the radius of maximum winds on the 18th and inside the outer radius of maximum winds on the 20th.

The bright band is found in all quadrants of the storm within 100 n.mi. of the eye, sloping slightly upward near the eyewall. The inferred shears are directed outward and slightly down band with height in both layers studied. The hurricane Debbie bright band and precipitation tilt data compared favorably with those gathered in Betsy of 1965 and Beulah and Heidi of 1967.

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Matthew D. Eastin, Peter G. Black, and William M. Gray

Abstract

The implications of flight-level instrument wetting error removal upon the mean thermodynamic structure across the eyewall, buoyancy of rainband vertical motions, and vertical energy fluxes near the top of the inflow layer are studied. Thermodynamic quantities across the mean eyewall are found to increase at all levels. As a result, maximum radial gradients of each quantity are shifted from the center of the eyewall cloud toward the outer edge. The increase in equivalent potential temperature lifts eyewall values to comparable magnitudes observed in the eye. The mean virtual potential temperature deviation of rainband updrafts increases from slightly negative to slightly positive. This increase and shift in sign are more pronounced in stronger updrafts. The mean deviation in rainband downdrafts decreases slightly toward neutral conditions. Vertical sensible heat fluxes near the top of the inflow layer are found to shift from downward to upward. Upward latent heat fluxes increase. Implications of these results upon hurricane structure and evolution are discussed.

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Lynn K. Shay, Russell L. Elsberry, and Peter G. Black

Abstract

During the passage of hurricane Norbert in 1984, the Hurricane Research Division of NOAA conducted a Planetary Boundary Layer Experiment that included the deployment of Airborne eXpendable Current Profilers (AXCP). A total of. 16 AXCPs provided for the fist time high-resolution vertical profiles of currents and temperatures in hurricane wind conditions. This study focuses on the vertical structure of the near-inertial baroclinic current excited by the passage of this hurricane.

The transient hurricane-induced currents are isolated from the AXCP profiles in Norbert by subtracting a spatially-averaged current. Near the center of hurricane Norbert, the WKBJ-scaled vertical wavenumber spectra are a decade greater than the Garrett-Munk spectra (GM75). The fist ten linear, baroclinic free modes are calculated from the spatially-averaged Brunt–Väisälä frequency. To allow a more direct comparison with the AXCP observations in the current wind regime, the near-inertial response for the three dimensional velocities is simulated by superposing a hurricane-like wind stress field onto the first ten baroclinic modes. About 70% of the current variance in hurricane Norbert can be explained by a sum of only the first four near-inertial modes. Most of the ocean current variability can be accounted for by the wind stress curl, although the direct effect of the wind stress and the soon divergence do contribute to the observed current variance within 30–60 km from the storm. However, these last two effects rapidly diminish after one inertial period. Although the energy input by the hurricane forcing is spread over all of the vertical wavelengths, most of the energy is contained in the gravest four vertical modes which then govern the dynamics in the wake region.

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