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Title: Dynamic Mechanisms Associated with the Structure and Evolution of Roll Vortices and Coherent Turbulence in the Hurricane Boundary Layer: A Large Eddy Simulation During the Landfall of Hurricane Harvey

Roll vortices are a series of large-scale turbulent eddies that nearly align with the mean wind direction and prevail in the hurricane boundary layer. In this study, the one-way nested WRF-LES model simulation results from Li et al. (J Atmos Sci 78(6):1847–1867,, 2021) are used to examine the structure and generation mechanism of roll vortices and associated coherent turbulence in the hurricane boundary layer during the landfall of Hurricane Harvey from 00 UTC 25 to 18 UTC 27 August 2017. Results indicate that roll vortices prevail in the hurricane boundary layer. The intense roll vortices and associated large turbulent eddies above them (at a height of ~ 200 to 3000 m) accumulate within a hurricane radius of 20–40 km. Their intensity is proportional to hurricane intensity during the simulation period. Before and during hurricane landfall, strong inflow convergence leads to horizontal advection of roll vortices throughout the entire hurricane boundary layer. Combined with the strong wind shear, the strongest roll vortices and associated large turbulent eddies are generated near the eyewall with suitable thermodynamic (Richardson number at around − 0.2 to 0.2) and dynamic conditions (strong negative inflow wind shear). After landfall, the decayed inflow weakens the inflow convergence and quickly reduces the strong roll vortices and associated large turbulent eddies. Diagnosis of vertical turbulent kinetic energy indicates that atmospheric pressure perturbation, caused by horizontal convergence, transfers the horizontal component of turbulence to the vertical component with a mean wavelength of about 1 km. The buoyancy term is weak and negative, and the large turbulent eddies are suppressed.

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Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
Publisher / Repository:
Springer Science + Business Media
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Boundary-Layer Meteorology
Page Range / eLocation ID:
p. 615-636
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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