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The Formation of Hurricane Frederic of 1979

T. N. KrishnamurthiDepartment of meteorology, The Florida State University, Tallahassee Florida

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H. S. BediDepartment of meteorology, The Florida State University, Tallahassee Florida

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Darlene OosterhofDepartment of meteorology, The Florida State University, Tallahassee Florida

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Vivek HardikerDepartment of meteorology, The Florida State University, Tallahassee Florida

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Abstract

A high-resolution global model forecast of the formation of Hurricane Frederic of 1979 is analyzed by means of several diagnostic computations on the model's output history. The formation is addressed from an analysis of limited-area energetics where the growth of eddy kinetic energy is examined. The question on internal versus external forcing during the formative stage of the hurricane is explored by means of the Kuo-Eliassen framework for the radial-vertical circulation of the hurricane. The intensity of the predicted hurricane is diagnosed from a detailed angular momentum budget following the three-dimensional motion of parcels arriving at the maximum wind belt. Overall, the successful simulation of the hurricane has enabled us to make such a detailed diagnosis of the predicted hurricane at a high resolution. The principal findings of this study are that a north-south-oriented beating function maintained a zonal easterly flow that supplied energy barotropically during the growth of an African wave. The growth of eddy kinetic energy is somewhat monotonic and slow throughout the history of the computations. The initial development of the easterly wave appears to be related to the widespread weak convective heating that contributes to a covariance of heating and temperature and of temperature and vertical velocity. The hurricane development period is seen as one where both the barotropic and convective processes contribute to the growth of eddy kinetic energy. During this developing stage, the growth of radial-vertical circulation is largely attributed to convective, radiative, and frictional forcings. The role of eddy convergence of momentum flux appears to be insignificant. The intensity issue of the storm (maximum wind of the order of 37 m s−1) was addressed by means of a detailed angular momentum budget following parcel motion. The pressure torque in the model simulation had a primary role in explaining the intensity of the predicted storm. It is only in the storm's inner rain area where the frictional stress becomes quite large. But at these small radii the frictional torque is still smaller compared to the contribution from the (small but significant) azimuthal asymmetries of the pressure field and the resulting pressure torques.

Abstract

A high-resolution global model forecast of the formation of Hurricane Frederic of 1979 is analyzed by means of several diagnostic computations on the model's output history. The formation is addressed from an analysis of limited-area energetics where the growth of eddy kinetic energy is examined. The question on internal versus external forcing during the formative stage of the hurricane is explored by means of the Kuo-Eliassen framework for the radial-vertical circulation of the hurricane. The intensity of the predicted hurricane is diagnosed from a detailed angular momentum budget following the three-dimensional motion of parcels arriving at the maximum wind belt. Overall, the successful simulation of the hurricane has enabled us to make such a detailed diagnosis of the predicted hurricane at a high resolution. The principal findings of this study are that a north-south-oriented beating function maintained a zonal easterly flow that supplied energy barotropically during the growth of an African wave. The growth of eddy kinetic energy is somewhat monotonic and slow throughout the history of the computations. The initial development of the easterly wave appears to be related to the widespread weak convective heating that contributes to a covariance of heating and temperature and of temperature and vertical velocity. The hurricane development period is seen as one where both the barotropic and convective processes contribute to the growth of eddy kinetic energy. During this developing stage, the growth of radial-vertical circulation is largely attributed to convective, radiative, and frictional forcings. The role of eddy convergence of momentum flux appears to be insignificant. The intensity issue of the storm (maximum wind of the order of 37 m s−1) was addressed by means of a detailed angular momentum budget following parcel motion. The pressure torque in the model simulation had a primary role in explaining the intensity of the predicted storm. It is only in the storm's inner rain area where the frictional stress becomes quite large. But at these small radii the frictional torque is still smaller compared to the contribution from the (small but significant) azimuthal asymmetries of the pressure field and the resulting pressure torques.

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