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Tropical Cyclone Intensity Experiment (TCI)


In this special collection, tropical cyclone outflow and as well as the myriad of processes and dynamics that strongly influence tropical cyclone intensification are investigated in a series of studies that make use of dropwindsondes deployed from the new HDSS (High Definition Sounding System) and remotely sensed observations from HIRAD (Hurricane Imaging Radiometer), both onboard a NASA WB-57 flying in the lower stratosphere as part of the Office of Naval Research Tropical Cyclone Intensity (TCI) field program that took place in the North Atlantic and Eastern North Pacific during 2015. Three noteworthy hurricanes were intensively observed with resolution of unprecedented fidelity: Joaquin in the Atlantic, and Marty and Patricia in the E. Pacific, as well as the remnants of tropical storm Erika. Systematic measurements of the hurricane outflow layer were made at high-spatial resolution for the first time for a major hurricane, which illustrate the complex interaction of Joaquin’s outflow with multiple synoptic-scale features associated with the TC’s unusually unpredictable track and intensity. Enhanced satellite data (e.g. rapid-scan Atmospheric Motion Vectors) reveal new aspects of the hurricane outflow layer. The TCI observations motivate a series of complementary numerical simulations and data assimilation experiments using state-of-the-science tropical cyclone prediction systems to further explore dynamics, processes and predictability aspects of tropical cyclones. Accurate prediction of tropical cyclone intensity remains the greatest challenge in meteorology today. An overview paper describing the project is available here. Read More…

Collection organizers:
James D. Doyle, Naval Research Laboratory
Ronald Ferek, Office of Naval Research

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