The role of wave energy accumulation in tropical cyclone genesis over the tropical North Atlantic

AMS Citation:
Holland, G., J. M. Done, and P. J. Webster, 2010: The role of wave energy accumulation in tropical cyclone genesis over the tropical North Atlantic. Climate Dynamics,.
Date:2010-08-10
Resource Type:article
Title:The role of wave energy accumulation in tropical cyclone genesis over the tropical North Atlantic
Abstract: A hierarchical modeling approach is used to study the process by which interactions of easterly waves with the background flow can result in a reduction in the longitudinal and vertical scale of the waves. Theory suggests that in flows that possess a negative longitudinal gradient (U x < 0) there is a reduction of longitudinal and vertical group speeds and an increase in regional wave action density (or "wave energy"). Relative vorticity increases locally leading to an increase in the likelihood of tropical cyclogenesis near the wave axis. Opposite impacts on the structure of the waves is expected in a U x > 0 domain. In the simplified framework of a free-surface and divergent shallow water model, Rossby wave properties are tracked through a range of background flow scenarios to determine the important scales of interaction. The importance of wave energy accumulation for tropical cyclogenesis is then studied in a full physics and dynamics model using a nested regional climate model simulation, at 12 km horizontal grid spacing, over the tropical North Atlantic region for the entire 2005 hurricane season. The dynamical environment within which 70% of easterly waves formed tropical cyclones exhibits coherent regions in which easterly winds increase towards the east, consistent with the occurrence of wave energy accumulation.
Peer Review:Refereed
Copyright Information:An edited version of this paper was published by Springer. Copyright 2010 Springer.
OpenSky citable URL: ark:/85065/d7tt4rf9
Author(s):
  • Gregory Holland - NCAR/UCAR
  • James Done - NCAR/UCAR
  • Peter Webster
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