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Creators/Authors contains: "Tang, Brian H."

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  1. Abstract

    The conditions associated with tropical cyclones undergoing downshear reformation are explored for the North Atlantic basin from 1998 to 2020. These storms were compared to analog tropical cyclones with similar intensity, vertical wind shear, and maximum potential intensity, but did not undergo downshear reformation. Storm-centered, shear-relative composites were generated using ERA5 and GridSat-B1 data. Downshear reformation predominately occurs for tropical cyclones of tropical storm intensity embedded in moderate vertical wind shear. A comparison between composites suggests that reformed storms are characterized by greater low-level and midtropospheric relative humidity downshear, larger surface latent heat fluxes downshear and left of shear, and larger low-level equivalent potential temperatures and CAPE right of shear. These factors increase thermodynamic favorability, building a reservoir of potential energy and decreasing dry air entrainment, promoting sustained convection downshear, and favoring the development of a new center.

    Significance Statement

    The development of a new low-level circulation center in tropical cyclones that replaces the original center, called downshear reformation, can affect the structure and intensity of storms, representing a challenge in forecasting tropical cyclones. While there have been a handful of case studies on downshear reformation, this study aims to more comprehensively understand the conditions that favor downshear reformation by comparing a large set of North Atlantic tropical cyclones that underwent reformation with a similar set of tropical cyclones that did not undergo reformation. Tropical cyclones that undergo reformation have a moister environment, larger surface evaporation, and higher low-level instability in specific regions that help sustain deep, downshear convection that favors the development of a new center.

     
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  2. null (Ed.)
    Abstract This study examines how midlevel dry air and vertical wind shear (VWS) can modulate tropical cyclone (TC) development via downdraft ventilation. A suite of experiments was conducted with different combinations of initial midlevel moisture and VWS. A strong, positive, linear relationship exists between the low-level vertical mass flux in the inner core and TC intensity. The linear increase in vertical mass flux with intensity is not due to an increased strength of upward motions but, instead, is due to an increased areal extent of strong upward motions ( w > 0.5 m s −1 ). This relationship suggests physical processes that could influence the vertical mass flux, such as downdraft ventilation, influence the intensity of a TC. The azimuthal asymmetry and strength of downdraft ventilation is associated with the vertical tilt of the vortex: downdraft ventilation is located cyclonically downstream from the vertical tilt direction and its strength is associated with the magnitude of the vertical tilt. Importantly, equivalent potential temperature of parcels associated with downdraft ventilation trajectories quickly recovers via surface fluxes in the subcloud layer, but the areal extent of strong upward motions is reduced. Altogether, the modulating effects of downdraft ventilation on TC development are the downward transport of low–equivalent potential temperature, negative-buoyancy air left of shear and into the upshear semicircle, as well as low-level radial outflow upshear, which aid in reducing the areal extent of strong upward motions, thereby reducing the vertical mass flux in the inner core, and stunting TC development. 
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  3. null (Ed.)
    Abstract This study demonstrates how midlevel dry air and vertical wind shear (VWS) can modulate tropical cyclone (TC) development via radial ventilation. A suite of experiments was conducted with different combinations of initial midlevel moisture and VWS environments. Two radial ventilation structures are documented. The first structure is positioned in a similar region as rainband activity and downdraft ventilation (documented in Part I) between heights of 0 and 3 km. Parcels associated with this first structure transport low–equivalent potential temperature air inward and downward left of shear and upshear to suppress convection. The second structure is associated with the vertical tilt of the vortex and storm-relative flow between heights of 5 and 9 km. Parcels associated with this second structure transport low–relative humidity air inward upshear and right of shear to suppress convection. Altogether, the modulating effects of radial ventilation on TC development are the inward transport of low–equivalent potential temperature air, as well as low-level radial outflow upshear, which aid in reducing the areal extent of strong upward motions, thereby reducing the vertical mass flux in the inner core, and stunting TC development. 
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