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Title: Intensification of Tilted Tropical Cyclones over Relatively Cool and Warm Oceans in Idealized Numerical Simulations

A cloud-resolving model is used to examine the intensification of tilted tropical cyclones from depression to hurricane strength over relatively cool and warm oceans under idealized conditions where environmental vertical wind shear has become minimal. Variation of the SST does not substantially change the time-averaged relationship between tilt and the radial length scale of the inner core, or between tilt and the azimuthal distribution of precipitation during the hurricane formation period (HFP). By contrast, for systems having similar structural parameters, the HFP lengthens superlinearly in association with a decline of the precipitation rate as the SST decreases from 30° to 26°C. In many simulations, hurricane formation progresses from a phase of slow or neutral intensification to fast spinup. The transition to fast spinup occurs after the magnitudes of tilt and convective asymmetry drop below certain SST-dependent levels following an alignment process explained in an earlier paper. For reasons examined herein, the alignment coincides with enhancements of lower–middle-tropospheric relative humidity and lower-tropospheric CAPE inward of the radius of maximum surface wind speedrm. Such moist-thermodynamic modifications appear to facilitate initiation of the faster mode of intensification, which involves contraction ofrmand the characteristic radius of deep convection. The mean transitional values of more » the tilt magnitude and lower–middle-tropospheric relative humidity for SSTs of 28°–30°C are respectively higher and lower than their counterparts at 26°C. Greater magnitudes of the surface enthalpy flux and core deep-layer CAPE found at the higher SSTs plausibly compensate for less complete alignment and core humidification at the transition time.

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Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
p. 485-512
American Meteorological Society
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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