A numerical study of the impacts of dry air on tropical cyclone formation: A development case and a nondevelopment case

Cody Fritz, Zhuo Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The impacts of dry air on tropical cyclone formation are examined in the numerical model simulations of ex-Gaston (2010) and pre-Fay (2008). The former, a remnant low downgraded from a short-lived tropical cyclone, can be regarded as a nondeveloping system because it failed to redevelop, and the latter developed into a tropical cyclone despite lateral dry air entrainment and a transient upper-level dry air intrusion. Water vapor budget analysis suggests that the mean vertical moisture transport plays the dominant role in moistening the free atmosphere. Backward trajectory analysis and water budget analysis show that vertical transport of dry air from the middle and upper troposphere, where a well-defined wave pouch is absent, contributes to the midlevel drying near the pouch center in ex-Gaston. The midlevel drying suppresses deep convection, reduces moisture supply from the boundary layer, and contributes to the nondevelopment of ex-Gaston. Threedimensional trajectory analysis based on the numerical model simulation of Fay suggests that dry air entrained at the pouch periphery tends to stay off the pouch center because of the weak midlevel inflow or gets moistened along its path even if it is being wrapped into the wave pouch. Lateral entrainment in the middle troposphere thus does not suppress convection near the pouch center or prevent the development of Tropical Storm Fay. This study suggests that the upper troposphere is a weak spot of the wave pouch at the early formation stage and that the vertical transport is likely a more direct pathway for dry air to influence moist convection near the pouch center.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-111
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of the Atmospheric Sciences
Volume70
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'A numerical study of the impacts of dry air on tropical cyclone formation: A development case and a nondevelopment case'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this