AbstractThe balanced and unbalanced aspects of tropical cyclone (TC) intensification are revisited with the balanced contribution diagnosed with the outputs from a full-physics model simulation of a TC using the Sawyer–Eliassen (SE) equation. The results show that the balanced dynamics can well capture the secondary circulation in the full-physics model simulation even in the inner-core region in the boundary layer. The balanced dynamics can largely explain the intensification of the simulated TC. The unbalanced dynamics mainly acts to prevent the boundary layer agradient flow in the inner-core region from further intensification. Although surface friction can enhance the boundary layer inflow and make the inflow penetrate more inward into the eye region, contributing to the eyewall contraction, the net dynamical effect of surface friction on TC intensification is negative.The sensitivity of the balanced solution to the procedure used to ensure the ellipticity condition for the SE equation is also examined. The results show that the boundary layer inflow in the balanced response is very sensitive to the adjustment to inertial stability in the upper troposphere and the calculation of radial wind at the surface with relatively coarse vertical resolution in the balanced solution. Both the use of the so-called global regularization and the one-sided finite-differencing scheme used to calculate the surface radial wind in the balanced solution as utilized in some previous studies can significantly underestimate the boundary layer inflow. This explains why the boundary layer inflow in the balanced response is too weak in some previous studies.
Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences – American Meteorological Society
Published: Aug 16, 2017
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