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A Conceptual Framework for the Scale-Specific Stochastic Modeling of Transitions in Tropical Cyclone Intensities
  • Published Date:
  • Source:
    Earth and Space Science, 6(6), 972-981.
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  • Description:
    At any given time, a tropical cyclone (TC) vortex has multiple intensity pathways that are possible. We conceptualize this problem as a scenario where each of the TC's intensity pathways is a distinct attractor basin, and a combination of several external and internal factors across multiple scales dictates as to which of the many pathways the TC vortex actually takes. As with any complex system, it is difficult to know the details of the multiscale processes that cause or initiate the tipping of the TC vortex into an attractor basin. A stochastic shock arising from any of the various scales within a TC vortex and the subsequent cross-scale energy transactions may rapidly increase the probability of the vortex intensifying or weakening. To address this problem and apply our conceptual framework to actual TC case studies, we formulate a novel scale-specific stochastic model that examines the multiscale energetics at and across individual wave numbers within the TC vortex. The stochastic term is modeled in a realistic manner in that the lower and higher wave numbers are treated differently. High-resolution Hurricane Weather and Research Forecast model outputs of two Bay of Bengal TCs, Phailin (intensifying) and Lehar (weakening), are used as case studies. An ensemble of intensity pathways is generated, and the nonstationary probability distributions of the intensity transitions at each time are examined. Our approach is another step toward an improved understanding of the stochastic dynamics of multiscale transitions of a TC vortex.
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