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  1. Abstract

    Low-lying island nations like Indonesia are vulnerable to sea level Height EXtremes (HEXs). When compounded by marine heatwaves, HEXs have larger ecological and societal impact. Here we combine observations with model simulations, to investigate the HEXs and Compound Height-Heat Extremes (CHHEXs) along the Indian Ocean coast of Indonesia in recent decades. We find that anthropogenic sea level rise combined with decadal climate variability causes increased occurrence of HEXs during 2010–2017. Both HEXs and CHHEXs are driven by equatorial westerly and longshore northwesterly wind anomalies. For most HEXs, which occur during December-March, downwelling favorable northwest monsoon winds are enhanced but enhanced vertical mixing limits surface warming. For most CHHEXs, wind anomalies associated with a negative Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) and co-occurring La Niña weaken the southeasterlies and cooling from coastal upwelling during May-June and November-December. Our findings emphasize the important interplay between anthropogenic warming and climate variability in affecting regional extremes.

  2. Abstract The subtropical Indian Ocean dipole (SIOD) and Ningaloo Niño are the two dominant modes of interannual climate variability in the subtropical south Indian Ocean. Observations show that the SIOD has been weakening in the recent decades, while Ningaloo Niño has been strengthening. In this study, we investigate the causes for such changes by analyzing climate model experiments using the NCAR Community Earth System Model, version 1 (CESM1). Ensemble-mean results from CESM1 large-ensemble (CESM1-LE) show that the external forcing causes negligible changes in the amplitudes of the SIOD and Ningaloo Niño, suggesting a dominant role of internal climate variability. Meanwhile, results from CESM1 pacemaker experiments reveal that the observed changes in the two climate modes cannot be attributed to the effect of sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTA) in either the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean or tropical Indian Ocean. By further comparing different ensemble members from the CESM1-LE, we find that a warm pool dipole mode of decadal variability, with opposite SSTA in the southeast Indian Ocean and the western-central tropical Pacific Ocean plays an important role in driving the observed changes in the SIOD and Ningaloo Niño. These changes in the two climate modes have considerable impacts on precipitation andmore »sea level variabilities in the south Indian Ocean region.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 15, 2023
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 7, 2023
  4. Abstract The radius of maximum wind (RMW) has been found to contract rapidly well preceding rapid intensification in tropical cyclones (TCs) in recent literature but the understanding of the involved dynamics is incomplete. In this study, this phenomenon is revisited based on ensemble axisymmetric numerical simulations. Consistent with previous studies, because the absolute angular momentum (AAM) is not conserved following the RMW, the phenomenon can not be understood based on the AAM-based dynamics. Both budgets of tangential wind and the rate of change in the RMW are shown to provide dynamical insights into the simulated relationship between the rapid intensification and rapid RMW contraction. During the rapid RMW contraction stage, due to the weak TC intensity and large RMW, the moderate negative radial gradient of radial vorticity flux and small curvature of the radial distribution of tangential wind near the RMW favor rapid RMW contraction but weak diabatic heating far inside the RMW leads to weak low-level inflow and small radial absolute vorticity flux near the RMW and thus a relatively small intensification rate. As RMW contraction continues and TC intensity increases, diabatic heating inside the RMW and radial inflow near the RMW increase, leading to a substantial increase inmore »radial absolute vorticity flux near the RMW and thus the rapid TC intensification. However, the RMW contraction rate decreases rapidly due to the rapid increase in the curvature of the radial distribution of tangential wind near the RMW as the TC intensifies rapidly and RMW decreases.« less
  5. Abstract In this study, a simple energetically based dynamical system model of tropical cyclone (TC) intensification is modified to account for the observed dependence of the intensification rate (IR) on the storm intensity. According to the modified dynamical system model, the TC IR is controlled by the intensification potential (IP) and the weakening rate due to surface friction beneath the eyewall. The IP is determined primarily by the rate of change in the potential energy available for a TC to develop, which is a function of the thermodynamic conditions of the atmosphere and the underlying ocean, and the dynamical efficiency of the TC system. The latter depends strongly on the degree of convective organization within the eyewall and the inner-core inertial stability of the storm. At a relatively low TC intensity, the IP of the intensifying storm is larger than the frictional weakening rate, leading to an increase in the TC IR with TC intensity in this stage. As the storm reaches an intermediate intensity of 30-40 m s -1 , the difference between IP and frictional weakening rate reaches its maximum, concurrent with the maximum IR. Later on, the IR decreases as the TC intensifies further because the frictionalmore »dissipation increases with TC intensity at a faster rate than the IP. Finally, the storm approaches its maximum potential intensity (MPI) and the IR becomes zero. The modified dynamical system model is validated with results from idealized simulations with an axisymmetric nonhydrostatic, cloud-resolving model.« less
  6. Abstract The existence of supergradient wind in the interior of the boundary layer is a distinct feature of a tropical cyclone (TC). Although the vertical advection is shown to enhance supergradient wind in TC boundary layer (TCBL), how and to what extent the strength and structure of supergradient wind are modulated by vertical advection are not well understood. In this study, both a TCBL model and an axisymmetric full-physics model are used to quantify the contribution of vertical advection process to the strength and vertical structure of supergradient wind in TCBL. Results from the TCBL model show that the removal of vertical advection of radial wind reduces both the strength and height of supergradient wind by slightly more than 50%. The removal of vertical advection of agradient wind reduces the height of the supergradient wind core by ~30% but increases the strength of supergradient wind by ~10%. Results from the full-physics model show that the removal of vertical advection of radial wind or agradient wind reduces both the strength and height of supergradient wind but the removal of that of radial wind produces a more substantial reduction (52%) than the removal of that of agradient wind (35%). However, both themore »intensification rate and final intensity of the simulated TCs in terms of maximum 10-m wind speed show little differences in experiments with and without the vertical advection of radial or agradient wind, suggesting that supergradient wind contributes little to either the intensification rate or the steady-state intensity of the simulated TC.« less
  7. Abstract This is a reply to the comments by Smith et al. (2020, hereafter SGM20) on the work of Li et al. (2020, hereafter LWL20) recently published in the Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences . All the comments and concerns by SGM20 have been well addressed or clarified. We think that most of the comments by SGM20 are not in line with the intention of LWL20 and provide one-sided and thus little scientifically meaningful arguments. Regarding the comment on the adequacy of the methodology adopted in LWL20, we believe that the design of the thought (sensitivity) experiment is adequate to address the scientific issue under debate and helps quantify the contribution by the upward advection of the supergradient component of boundary layer wind to tropical cyclone intensification, which is shown to be very marginal. Note that we are open to accept any alternative, better methods to be used to further address this scientific issue.
  8. Abstract This study revisits the superintensity of tropical cyclones (TCs), which is defined as the excess maximum surface wind speed normalized by the corresponding theoretical maximum potential intensity (MPI), based on ensemble axisymmetric numerical simulations, with the focus on the dependence of superintensity on the prescribed sea surface temperature (SST) and the initial environmental atmospheric sounding. Results show a robust decrease of superintensity with increasing SST regardless of being in experiments with an SST-independent initial atmospheric sounding or in those with the SST-dependent initial atmospheric soundings as in nature sorted for the western North Pacific and the North Atlantic. It is found that the increase in either convective activity (and thus diabatic heating) in the TC outer region or theoretical MPI or both with increasing SST could reduce the superintensity. For a given SST-independent initial atmospheric sounding, the strength of convective activity in the TC outer region increases rapidly with increasing SST due to the rapidly increasing air–sea thermodynamic disequilibrium (and thus potential convective instability) with increasing SST. As a result, the decrease of superintensity with increasing SST in the SST-independent sounding experiments is dominated by the increasing convective activity in the TC outer region and is much larger thanmore »that in the SST-dependent sounding experiments, and the TC intensity becomes sub-MPI at relatively high SSTs in the former. Due to the marginal increasing tendency of convective activity in the TC outer region, the decrease of superintensity in the latter is dominated by the increase in theoretical MPI with increasing SST.« less
  9. Abstract Although the development of supergradient winds is well understood, the importance of supergradient winds in tropical cyclone (TC) intensification is still under debate. One view is that the spinup of the eyewall occurs by the upward advection of high tangential momentum associated with supergradient winds from the boundary layer. The other view argues that the upward advection of supergradient winds by eyewall updrafts results in an outward agradient force, leading to the formation of a shallow outflow layer immediately above the inflow boundary layer. As a result, the spinup of tangential wind in the eyewall by the upward advection of supergradient wind from the boundary layer is largely offset by the spindown of tangential wind due to the outflow resulting from the agradient force. In this study, the net contribution by the upward advection of the supergradient wind component from the boundary layer to the intensification rate and final intensity of a TC are quantified through ensemble sensitivity numerical experiments using an axisymmetric TC model. Results show that consistent with the second view above, the positive upward advection of the supergradient wind component from the boundary layer by eyewall updrafts is largely offset by the negative radial advection duemore »to the outflow resulting from the outward agradient force. As a result, the upward advection of the supergradient wind component contributes little (often less than 4%) to the intensification rate and but it contributes about 10%–15% to the final intensity of the simulated TC due to the enhanced inner-core air–sea thermodynamic disequilibrium.« less