Parameter study of tropical cyclones in rotating radiative-convective equilibrium with column physics and resolution of a 25-km GCM

Wenyu Zhou, Isaac M. Held, Stephen T. Garner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

Rotating radiative-convective equilibrium is studied by extracting the column physics of a mesoscaleresolution global atmospheric model that simulates realistic hurricane frequency statistics and then coupling it to rotating hydrostatic dynamics in doubly periodic domains. The parameter study helps in understanding the tropical cyclones simulated in the global model and also provides a reference point for analogous studies with cloud-resolving models. The authors first examine the sensitivity of the equilibrium achieved in a large square domain (2 3 104km on a side) to sea surface temperature, ambient rotation rate, and surface drag coefficient. In such a large domain, multiple tropical cyclones exist simultaneously. The size and intensity of these tropical cyclones are investigated. The variation of rotating radiative-convective equilibrium with domain size is also studied. As domain size increases, the equilibrium evolves through four regimes: a single tropical depression, an intermittent tropical cyclone with widely varying intensity, a single sustained storm, and finally multiple storms. As SST increases or ambient rotation rate f decreases, the sustained storm regime shifts toward larger domain size. The storm's natural extent in large domains can be understood from this regime behavior. The radius of maximum surface wind, although only marginally resolved, increases with SST and increases with f for small f when the domain is large enough. These parameter dependencies can be modified or even reversed if the domain is smaller than the storm's natural extent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1058-1069
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the Atmospheric Sciences
Volume71
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science

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