Numerical simulations of the formation of Hurricane Gabrielle (2001)

AMS Citation:
Musgrave, K. D., C. A. Davis, and M. T. Montgomery, 2008: Numerical simulations of the formation of Hurricane Gabrielle (2001). Monthly Weather Review, 136, 3151-3167, doi:10.1175/2007MWR2110.1.
Date:2008-08-01
Resource Type:article
Title:Numerical simulations of the formation of Hurricane Gabrielle (2001)
Abstract: This study examines the formation of Hurricane Gabrielle (2001), focusing on whether an initial disturbance and vertical wind shear were favorable for development. This examination is performed by running numerical experiments using the fifth-generation Pennsylvania State University-National Center for Atmospheric Research Mesoscale Model (MM5). Gabrielle is chosen as an interesting case to study since it formed in the subtropics only a few days before making landfall in Florida. Three simulations are run: a control run and two sensitivity experiments. The control run is compared with observations to establish the closeness of the model output to Gabrielle’s observed formation. The two sensitivity experiments are designed to test the response of the developing tropical cyclone to alterations in the initial conditions. The first sensitivity experiment removes the initial (or precursor) disturbance, a midtropospheric vortex located over Florida. The second sensitivity experiment reduces the vertical wind shear over the area of formation. The control run produces a system comparable to Gabrielle. The convection in the control run is consistently located downshear of the center of circulation. In the first sensitivity experiment, with the removal of the initial disturbance, no organized system develops. This indicates the importance of the midtropospheric vortex in Gabrielle’s formation. The second sensitivity experiment, which reduces the vertical wind shear over the area of Gabrielle’s formation, produces a system that can be identified as Gabrielle. This system, however, is weaker than both the control run and the observations of Gabrielle. This study provides direct evidence of a favorable influence of modest vertical wind shear on the formation of a tropical cyclone in this case.
Subject(s):Hurricanes, Cyclogenesis/cyclolysis, Sensitivity studies, Model evaluation/performance
Peer Review:Refereed
Copyright Information:Copyright 2008 American Meteorological Society (AMS). Permission to use figures, tables, and brief excerpts from this work in scientific and educational works is hereby granted provided that the source is acknowledged. Any use of material in this work that is determined to be "fair use" under Section 107 or that satisfies the conditions specified in Section 108 of the U.S. Copyright Law (17 USC, as revised by P.L. 94-553) does not require the Society's permission. Republication, systematic reproduction, posting in electronic form on servers, or other uses of this material, except as exempted by the above statements, requires written permission or license from the AMS. Additional details are provided in the AMS Copyright Policies, available from the AMS at 617-227-2425 or amspubs@ametsoc.org. Permission to place a copy of this work on this server has been provided by the AMS. The AMS does not guarantee that the copy provided here is an accurate copy of the published work.
OpenSky citable URL: ark:/85065/d7df6rfj
Publisher's Version: 10.1175/2007MWR2110.1
Author(s):
  • K. Musgrave
  • Christopher Davis - NCAR/UCAR
  • M. Montgomery
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