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Recent research results have suggested that the Saharan Air Layer (SAL) may alter the intensity of Atlantic Tropical Cyclone (TC) activity. The alteration occurs through a variety of dynamical and thermodynamical processes, including the following: the entrainment of dry, stable air into storms, which promotes evaporatively driven downdrafts in TCs; the maintenance of a midlevel easterly jet due to warm SAL air, which increases vertical shear; and the interactions between dust and cloud/radiation, which modifies TC development as well as environment instability and moisture/energy budgets. The central objective of this proposed work is to study the impact of SAL on TC genesis and intensification in terms of its warm and dry air, vertical shear induced by MLEJ, and Saharan dust through a suite of comprehensive numerical investigations. The investigations will also include analyzing the role of the environmental stability and the moisture and energy budget in TC genesis and intensification. To achieve these objectives an on-line tracer model, which includes the calculation of dust, will be developed based on the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. The WRF tracer model will be used to carry out numerical simulations and sensitivity tests. To improve the WRF performance and to validate the results, the dust emission parameterization and the assimilation of observations from satellites and the NASA African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analyses (NAMMA) field experiment will be studied and applied to WRF tracer simulations.
Project PI: Shu-Hua Chen/University of California, Davis
235 Hoagland Hall,Department of Land, Air & Water Resources One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616-8627
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