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Low-level inflow patterns to tropical cyclones as determined with global positioning system dropwindsondes

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Item Summary

Title:Low-level inflow patterns to tropical cyclones as determined with global positioning system dropwindsondes
Authors:Kelly, Julie Kathleen
Keywords:tropical cyclones
GPS sondes
Date Issued:Dec 2010
Publisher:[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [December 2010]
Abstract:Data collected with Global Positioning System dropwindsondes (GPS sondes) in four tropical cyclones (TCs) are analyzed to determine how the low-level inflow varies azimuthally and in thickness. The structure of a developing tropical cyclone is highly asymmetric and is influenced by two key factors: vertical shear of the horizontal wind and storm motion. Composites from GPS sondes were supplemented with aircraft radar and the Hurricane Research Division's H*wind analysis to produce horizontal plan view images of the radial flow at varying heights. Inflow depths were also plotted as a function of latitude and longitude.
This study provides evidence that as a TC intensifies, the inflow depth decreases and the inflow becomes more axisymmetric. The vertical structure was found to remain nearly unchanged within a 100 km annulus of the storm center, in the lowest 1 km for the weaker TCs, while the two major hurricanes showed significant changes in the radial speed, depth and azimuthal coverage around the storm center. The wind shear and the storm motion were found to influence maximum inflow location and appear to be correlated with boundary layer asymmetries in the radial flow. This is in accordance with previous studies from Corbosiero and Molinari. The angle between the TC motion and the wind shear vectors appears to influence the magnitude of the inflow velocities. When the TC motion vector lies to the left of the wind shear vector and the angle between them is less than 135 degrees, then both factors predict inflow maxima collocated in the same region.
Description:M.S. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2010.
Includes bibliographical references.
Appears in Collections: M.S. - Meteorology

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