• Govindan Kutty

      Articles written in Journal of Earth System Science

    • The role of mid-level vortex in the intensification and weakening of tropical cyclones

      Govindan Kutty Kanishk Gohil

      More Details Abstract Fulltext PDF

      The present study examines the dynamics of mid-tropospheric vortex during cyclogenesis and quantifies the importance of such vortex developments in the intensification of tropical cyclone. The genesis of tropical cyclones are investigated based on two most widely accepted theories that explain the mechanism of cyclone formation namely ‘top-down’ and ‘bottom-up’ dynamics. The Weather Research and Forecast model is employed to generate high resolution dataset required for analysis. The development of the mid-level vortex was analyzed with regard to the evolution of potential vorticity (PV), relative vorticity (RV) and vertical wind shear. Two tropical cyclones which include the developing cyclone, Hudhud and the non-developing cyclone, Helen are considered. Further, Hudhud and Helen, is compared to a deep depression formed over Bay of Bengal to highlight the significance of the mid-level vortex in the genesis of a tropical cyclone. Major results obtained are as follows: stronger positive PV anomalies are noticed over upper and lower levels of troposphere near the storm center for Hudhud as compared to Helen and the depression; Constructive interference in upper and lower level positive PV anomaly maxima resulted in the intensification of Hudhud. For Hudhud, the evolution of RV follows ‘top-down’ dynamics, in which the growth starts from the middle troposphere and then progresses downwards. As for Helen, RV growth seems to follow ‘bottom-up’ mechanism initiating growth from the lower troposphere. Though, the growth of RV for the depression initiates from mid-troposphere, rapid dissipation of mid-level vortex destabilizes the system. It is found that the formation mid-level vortex in the genesis phase is significantly important for the intensification of the storm.

    • Comparison of the performance of HYBRID ETKF-3DVAR and 3DVAR data assimilation scheme on the forecast of tropical cyclones formed over the Bay of Bengal

      GOVINDAN KUTTY REKHA GOGOI RAKESH V PATERIA M

      More Details Abstract Fulltext PDF

      This study compares the performance of hybrid ensemble transform Kalman filter – three dimensional variational data assimilation (HYBRID) system and three dimensional variational (3DVAR) data assimilation system in Weather Research and Forecasting Model (WRF) in simulating tropical cyclones (TC) formed over the Bay of Bengal. An Ensemble Transform Kalman Filter (ETKF) system updates the ensemble system that provides flow-evolving background error covariance for HYBRID data assimilation system. Results indicate that use of flow-evolving ensemble error covariance in 3DVAR system has systematically reduced the TC position and intensity errors in the analysis; however, adding more weights to the ensemble error covariance term in 3DVAR cost function has not made any significant impact. The 3DVAR analysis depicts a stronger TC vortex with a well pronounced warm core structure as compared to that in HYBRID analysis. The forecasts from HYBRID analysis outperform that from 3DVAR in reducing TC track forecast error. The relative improvement in TC landfall position is 43% and 49% for variously configured HYBRID experiments. The forecasts initiated from HYBRID analysis has higher skill in quantitative precipitation forecasts during TC landfall compared to 3DVAR, which may be attributed to improved track prediction in the HYBRID experiments.

      $\bf{Highlights}$

      $\bullet$ Compared the performance of HYBRID and 3DVAR data assimilation system for Tropical cyclone forecasts.

      $\bullet$ HYBRID has systematically reduced the Tropical cyclone position and intensity errors in the analysis.

      $\bullet$ The forecasts from HYBRID analysis outperform that from 3DVAR in reducing TC track forecast error.

      $\bullet$ The forecasts initiated from HYBRID analysis has higher skill in quantitative precipitation forecasts during Tropical cyclone landfall compared to 3DVAR.

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