A Climatological Analysis of Tropical Cyclone Rapid Intensification in Environments of Upper-Tropospheric Troughs
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A Climatological Analysis of Tropical Cyclone Rapid Intensification in Environments of Upper-Tropospheric Troughs

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  • Journal Title:
    Monthly Weather Review
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    AbstractTropical cyclone (TC)–trough interactions are a common occurrence in the North Atlantic basin and lead to a variety of TC intensity changes, from rapid intensification (RI) to rapid weakening. To test whether certain TC–trough configurations are more favorable for RI than others, the upper-tropospheric troughs involved in such interactions were objectively classified into one of three clusters through the implementation of a machine-learning, dimensionality-reduction technique in conjunction with a k-means clustering algorithm. Through composite analyses, the upper-tropospheric potential vorticity structure, the TC convective structure, and the TC environment were examined for both rapidly intensifying TCs and nonrapidly intensifying (non-RI) TCs. As a whole, RI episodes were associated with upper-tropospheric troughs of shorter zonal wavelengths and greater upstream TC–trough displacements than non-RI episodes. RI was found to occur most frequently when an upper-tropospheric cutoff low was located approximately 500–1000 km southwest of the TC location. RI occurred preferentially in environments associated with less ventilation of the TC warm core with low-entropy environmental air. An examination of potential trough-induced forcing for convection revealed little relationship between RI and eddy flux convergence of angular momentum. Nonetheless, RI episodes were associated with anomalously vigorous convective activity within the TC inner core, as diagnosed by infrared and passive microwave satellite imagery.
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    Monthly Weather Review, 147(10), 3693-3719.
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