Related Research Areas

Despite great advances in hurricane track forecasting, intensity forecasting remains a barrier. One reason is the predictability of convection, even when organized. However, a more important reason is that the focus has been on the environment, rather than the core. Building on the foundation of the PIs existing strong research, we will develop and test a new paradigm that seeks an improved understanding of the science of rapid intensity change. The recent work of Hart and Piech (2007), utilizing 17 years of reconnaissance data, demonstrated distinct regimes (rather than a continuum) of eyewall type (concentric, elliptical and single). Additional results provided indicators of short-term intensity changes: eye temperature, dewpoint, equivalent potential temperature, eyewall tilt, and their spatial and temporal gradients. Further, the evolution of a storms core within an "eyewall phase space" was shown to be a highly useful to both visualize structural evolution as well as search for historical analogs. Additionally, the eyewalls of hurricanes once were thought to be devoid of lightning. However, recent research has revealed that fluctuations in lightning appear to be related to changes in storm intensity and eyewall structure. These findings need much additional research to become useful predictors when synthesized with Hart and Piech (2007). The PIs will utilize their extensive experience relating lightning activity to thunderstorm severity and organization and apply it to the hurricane. Through an improved understanding of rapid intensity change, we will develop an eyewall and wind speed forecast tool based on the hurricane core data from the larger remotely-sensed (e.g. AMSU, AQUA, TRMM, LLDN) plus reconnaissance datasets. It will be independently tested against the benchmarks of SHIPS. Through an examination of the forecast skill alongside the remotely sensed fields, insight into hurricane intensity predictability and the physics behind the fickle nature of eyewall evolution will be examined.

Project PI: Robert Hart/Florida State University

Florida State University 404 Love Building 1017 Academic Way Tallahassee, FL 32306‐4520

Phone: (850)645-1552



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Started: Aug 10, 2010

Last Activity: Dec 15, 2010


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