Tropical cyclones in rotating radiative-convective equilibrium with coupled SST

TitleTropical cyclones in rotating radiative-convective equilibrium with coupled SST
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsZhou W.Y, Held I.M, Garner S.T
JournalJournal of the Atmospheric Sciences
Date Published2017/03
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0022-4928
Accession NumberWOS:000399332300010
Keywordscyclogenesis; hurricane intensity; model; part i; predictability; resolution; sea-surface temperature; sensitivity; simulations; variability

Tropical cyclones are studied under the idealized framework of rotating radiative-convective equilibrium, achieved in a large doubly periodic f plane by coupling the column physics of a global atmospheric model to rotating hydrostatic dynamics. Unlike previous studies that prescribe uniform sea surface temperature (SST) over the domain, SSTs are now predicted by coupling the atmosphere to a simple slab ocean model. With coupling, SSTs under the eyewall region of tropical cyclones (TCs) become cooler than the environment. However, the domain still fills up with multiple long-lived TCs in all cases examined, including at the limit of the very small depth of the slab. The cooling of SSTs under the eyewall increases as the depth of the slab ocean layer decreases but levels off at roughly 6.5K as the depth approaches zero. At the eyewall, the storm interior is decoupled from the cooler surface and moist entropy is no longer well mixed along the angular momentum surface in the boundary layer. TC intensity is reduced from the potential intensity computed without the cooling, but the intensity reduction is smaller than that estimated by a potential intensity taking into account the cooling and assuming that moist entropy is well mixed along angular momentum surfaces within the atmospheric boundary layer.

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