Lifetime evolution of outer tropical cyclone size and structure as diagnosed from reanalysis and climate model data

Benjamin A. Schenkel, Ning Lin, Daniel Chavas, Gabriel Andres Vecchi, Michael Oppenheimer, Alan Brammer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

The present study examines the lifetime evolution of outer tropical cyclone (TC) size and structure in the North Atlantic (NA) and western North Pacific (WNP). The metric for outer TC size is the radius at which the azimuthal-mean 10-m azimuthal wind equals 8 m s-1 (r8) derived from the NCEP Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR) and GFDL High-Resolution Forecast-Oriented Low Ocean Resolution model (HiFLOR). Radial profiles of the azimuthal-mean 10-m azimuthal wind are also analyzed to demonstrate that the results are robust across a broad range of wind radii. The analysis shows that most TCs in both basins are characterized by 1) minimum lifetime r8 at genesis, 2) subsequent substantial increases in r8 as the TC wind field expands, 3) peak r8 values occurring near or after the midpoint of the TC lifetime, and 4) nontrivial decreases in r8 and outer winds during the latter part of the TC lifetime. Compared to the NA, WNP TCs are systematically larger up until the end of their lifetime, exhibit r8 growth and decay rates that are larger in magnitude, and are characterized by an earlier onset of lifetime maximum r8 near their lifetime midpoint. In both basins, the TCs exhibiting the largest r8 increases are the longest lived, especially those that traverse the longest distances (i.e., recurving TCs). Finally, analysis of TCs undergoing extratropical transition (ET) shows that NA TCs exhibit negligible changes in r8 during ET, while WNP ET cases either show r8 decreases (CFSR) or negligible changes in r8 (HiFLOR).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7985-8004
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Climate
Volume31
Issue number19
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science

Keywords

  • Climate models
  • Climatology
  • Hurricanes/typhoons
  • Reanalysis data
  • Tropical cyclones

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