Onset of Tropical Cyclone Rapid Intensification: Evaluating the response to Length Scales of Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies.
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Onset of Tropical Cyclone Rapid Intensification: Evaluating the response to Length Scales of Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies.

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  • Journal Title:
    Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences
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    Predicting the rapid intensification (> 15.0 m s−1 increase in 10m wind speed over 24 hours or less) of tropical cyclones (TC) remains a challenge in the broader context of numerical weather prediction largely due to their multiscale dynamics. Ocean observations show that the size and magnitude of sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies associated with cold wakes and ocean eddies play important roles in TC dynamics. In this study, a combination of spectral and structure function analyses is utilized to generate realistic realizations of multiscale anomalies characteristic of the SST conditions in which Hurricane Irma (2017) underwent rapid intensification (RI). We investigate the impact of the length scale of these SST anomalies and the role of translation speed on the variance in RI onset timing. Length-scale-induced convective asymmetries, in addition to the mean magnitude of SST anomalies beneath the storm eye, are shown to modulate the variance in RI onset timing. The size of the associated SST length scales relative to the storm size is critical to the magnitude of variance in RI onset timing, as smaller length scales are shown to lack the spatial extent required to induce preferential convective asymmetries. Storm translation speed is also shown to influence the variance in RI onset timing for larger length scale ensembles by altering the exposure time of the eye to these SST anomalies. We find that an interplay between SST-induced convective asymmetries, the magnitude of SST anomalies underneath the eye/eye-wall, and storm translation speed play crucial roles in modulating the variance in RI onset timing.
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    Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences (2023)
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    0022-4928;1520-0469;
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