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Fluctuations in Inner-Core Structure during the Rapid Intensification of Super Typhoon Nepartak (2016)

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  • 1 Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science, School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom
  • 2 Meteorologisches Institut, Ludwig-Maximilians Universität, Munich, Germany
  • 3 Met Office, Exeter, United Kingdom
  • 4 School of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • 5 ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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Abstract

The key physical processes responsible for inner-core structural changes and associated fluctuations in the intensification rate for a recent, high-impact western North Pacific tropical cyclone that underwent rapid intensification [Nepartak (2016)] are investigated using a set of convection-permitting ensemble simulations. Fluctuations in the inner-core structure between ringlike and monopole states develop in 60% of simulations. A tangential momentum budget analysis of a single fluctuation reveals that during the ringlike phase, the tangential wind generally intensifies, whereas during the monopole phase, the tangential wind remains mostly constant. In both phases, the mean advection terms spin up the tangential wind in the boundary layer, whereas the eddy advection terms deepen the storm’s cyclonic circulation by spinning up the tangential wind between 1.5 and 4 km. Calculations of the azimuthally averaged, radially integrated vertical mass flux suggest that periods of near-constant tangential wind tendency are accompanied by a weaker eyewall updraft, which is unable to evacuate all the mass converging in the boundary layer. Composite analyses calculated from 18 simulations produce qualitatively similar results to those from the single case, a finding that is also in agreement with some previous observational and modeling studies. Above the boundary layer, the integrated contribution of the eddy term to the tangential wind tendency is over 80% of the contribution from the mean term, irrespective of inner-core structure. Our results strongly indicate that to fully understand the storm’s three-dimensional evolution, the contribution of the eddies must be quantified.

© 2021 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Sam Hardy, s.hardy1@leeds.ac.uk

Abstract

The key physical processes responsible for inner-core structural changes and associated fluctuations in the intensification rate for a recent, high-impact western North Pacific tropical cyclone that underwent rapid intensification [Nepartak (2016)] are investigated using a set of convection-permitting ensemble simulations. Fluctuations in the inner-core structure between ringlike and monopole states develop in 60% of simulations. A tangential momentum budget analysis of a single fluctuation reveals that during the ringlike phase, the tangential wind generally intensifies, whereas during the monopole phase, the tangential wind remains mostly constant. In both phases, the mean advection terms spin up the tangential wind in the boundary layer, whereas the eddy advection terms deepen the storm’s cyclonic circulation by spinning up the tangential wind between 1.5 and 4 km. Calculations of the azimuthally averaged, radially integrated vertical mass flux suggest that periods of near-constant tangential wind tendency are accompanied by a weaker eyewall updraft, which is unable to evacuate all the mass converging in the boundary layer. Composite analyses calculated from 18 simulations produce qualitatively similar results to those from the single case, a finding that is also in agreement with some previous observational and modeling studies. Above the boundary layer, the integrated contribution of the eddy term to the tangential wind tendency is over 80% of the contribution from the mean term, irrespective of inner-core structure. Our results strongly indicate that to fully understand the storm’s three-dimensional evolution, the contribution of the eddies must be quantified.

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Corresponding author: Sam Hardy, s.hardy1@leeds.ac.uk
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