R Koteswar Rao
Articles written in Journal of Earth System Science
Volume 102 Issue 3 September 1993 pp 439-463
The present work is concerned with the study of intensification of tropical disturbances with a view to improve prediction and early warning. The tropical disturbances are known to come in sizes (radii) ranging from 100–400 kms. Since the vortices of different sizes give rise to different initial convergence fields and since the subsequent development of the tropical depressions is very sensitive to the initial convergence fields, we argue that the size of the incipient vortex is likely to be an important factor in determining the subsequent development of a tropical disturbance.
We have examined the above hypothesis using an axisymmetric model of tropical cyclone. The incipient vortex is introduced by prescribing an initial temperature perturbation with wind in gradient balance. The results show a fairly sharp selection of scale at about 250 km radius. This implies that out of a number of initial disturbances of varying sizes and embedded in the same large scale environment, it is the vortex with about 250 km radius size that will develop to the most severe system. The sensitivity of this selective intensification at this incipient vortex radius to initial perturbation field and the mean thermodynamic state is investigated. Finally, the importance of such a selective scale of intensification for prediction, tracking and early warning of tropical cyclones is emphasized.
Volume 103 Issue 4 December 1994 pp 449-468
Recently it was shown (Goswami and Rao 1993) that the process of intensification of tropical disturbances depends on the size of the incipient vortex in a rather nonlinear fashion. Among vortices of size ranging from 100 to 450 km (radius), embedded in the same large scale condition, it is the vortex with size about 250 km that intensifies to the most severe system. These results also showed a strong correspondence between the maximum intensity reached and the initial (3–6 hour) low level convergence field near the centre. The purpose of the present work is to identify the process(es) responsible for this scale selective intensification of tropical disturbances. It is proposed that diffusion is likely to play a crucial role in bringing about this selective intensification. In the present work a series of experiments with an axisymmetric numerical model of tropical cyclone (Wada’s model) is carried out to determine the relative roles of horizontal diffusion of momentum, moisture, heat and vertical diffusion. The results show that diffusion significantly affects the process of intensification and scale selection. While moderate diffusion does not alter the magnitude of intensification significantly, the scale selection is quite sensitive to the strength of diffusion. Interestingly, these diffusion processes, of momentum, moisture, heat and vertical do not affect the scale selection in the same fashion. The scale selection process turns out to be a result of a combined effect of these diffusion processes. However, no single diffusion process alone can give rise to a sharp selection of scale at the size of 250 km.
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