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Characteristics of Tropical-Cyclone Turbulence and Intensity Predictability
  • Chanh Kieu,
  • Richard Rotunno
Chanh Kieu
Indiana University Bloomington

Corresponding Author:ckieu@indiana.edu

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Richard Rotunno
National Center for Atmospheric Research (UCAR)
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This study examines the characteristics of tropical cyclone (TC) turbulence and its related predictability implications. Using the Fourier-Bessel spectral decomposition for convective-permitting simulations, it is shown that TC turbulence possesses different spectral properties in the azimuthal and radial directions, with a steeper power law in the radial-wavenumber than those in the azimuthal-wavenumber direction. This spectral difference between the azimuthal and radial directions prevents one from using a single wavenumber to interpret TC intensity predictability as for classical homogeneous isotropic turbulences. Analyses of spectral error growth for a high-wavenumber perturbation further confirm that the spectral growth is more rapid for high azimuthal wavenumbers than for the radial wavenumbers, reaching saturation after ~9 hrs and ~18 hrs for the azimuthal and radial directions, respectively. This result highlights the key difficulty in quantifying TC intensity predictability based on spectral upscale error growth for future applications.
28 Apr 2022Published in Geophysical Research Letters volume 49 issue 8. 10.1029/2021GL096544