GENERATION OF AVAILABLE POTENTIAL ENERGY IN HURRICANE HILDA (1964)

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  • 1 Department of Meteorology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wis.
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Abstract

The energetics of hurricane Hilda (1964) are studied through the theory of available potential energy applied to a limited fixed region surrounding the storm. The generation of available potential energy is shown to be closely dependent on differential heating within the baroclinic structure of the hurricane, occurring primarily in the middle and upper troposphere of the core of the storm. The diabatic heating components (condensation, emission of long wave radiation, direct absorption of solar radiation, and sensible heating) are modeled and the contribution to the total generation from each component computed. The results from the latent heating model based on Kuo's work portray the dependence of the deep cumulus convection on the sea surface temperature. The best estimate of the total generation of available potential energy within the hurricane scale is 10.3 × 1012 watts, of which 77 percent is generated by latent heating, 17 percent by infrared cooling, and 6 percent by direct solar absorption. The total generation compares favorably with estimates of kinetic energy production in mature hurricanes. Energy considerations in the steady state condition of the hurricane system are discussed within the framework of the available potential energy theory.

Abstract

The energetics of hurricane Hilda (1964) are studied through the theory of available potential energy applied to a limited fixed region surrounding the storm. The generation of available potential energy is shown to be closely dependent on differential heating within the baroclinic structure of the hurricane, occurring primarily in the middle and upper troposphere of the core of the storm. The diabatic heating components (condensation, emission of long wave radiation, direct absorption of solar radiation, and sensible heating) are modeled and the contribution to the total generation from each component computed. The results from the latent heating model based on Kuo's work portray the dependence of the deep cumulus convection on the sea surface temperature. The best estimate of the total generation of available potential energy within the hurricane scale is 10.3 × 1012 watts, of which 77 percent is generated by latent heating, 17 percent by infrared cooling, and 6 percent by direct solar absorption. The total generation compares favorably with estimates of kinetic energy production in mature hurricanes. Energy considerations in the steady state condition of the hurricane system are discussed within the framework of the available potential energy theory.

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