On the Creation and Evolution of Small-Scale Low-Level Vorticity Anomalies during Tropical Cyclogenesis
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On the Creation and Evolution of Small-Scale Low-Level Vorticity Anomalies during Tropical Cyclogenesis

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  • Journal Title:
    Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences
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    Recent numerical modeling and observational studies indicate the importance of vortical hot towers (VHTs) in the transformation of a tropical disturbance to a tropical depression. It has recently been recognized that convective-scale downdraft outflows that form within VHTs also preferentially develop positive vertical vorticity around their edges, which is considerably larger in magnitude than ambient values. During a numerical simulation of tropical cyclogenesis it is found that particularly strong low-level convectively induced vorticity anomalies (LCVAs) occasionally form as convection acts on the enhanced vorticity at the edges of cold pools. These features cycle about the larger-scale circulation and are associated with a coincident pressure depression and low-level wind intensification. The LCVAs studied are considerably deeper than the vorticity produced at the edges of VHT cold pool outflows, and their evolution is associated with persistent convection and vortex merger events that act to sustain them. Herein, we highlight the formation and evolution of two representative LCVAs and discuss the environmental parameters that eventually become favorable for one LCVA to reach the center of a larger-scale circulation as tropical cyclogenesis occurs.
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    J. Atmos. Sci. (2019) 76 (8): 2335–2355
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