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One of the most challenging aspects in tropical cyclone research is developing an improved understanding of the processes underlying rapid intensification (RI). This task is challenging because the processes important in RI span spatial scales of many orders of magnitude from the synoptic-scale to the microscale. While the importance of environmental fields is fairly well-established, what is not as well understood are the roles of convective-scale and microscale processes and their interaction with the vortex. Observational and modeling studies have linked RI to the occurrence of deep convection, sometimes referred to as convective bursts, within the core. The goal of this research is to better understand the structures of these convective bursts, how they evolve, and how that evolution feeds back onto the vortex-scale circulation. To accomplish these goals the following questions will be addressed: - What are the dominant convective and microphysical structures associated with convective bursts? - What is the feedback of convective bursts on the vortex-scale circulations? Is it tied to the strong or moderate cores? - Is there something unique about the structure of the convection for bursts that are associated with RI compared with bursts that are not associated with RI? - Can current high-resolution models capture these structures? - Can they differentiate between burst structures that may be more conducive to RI vs. burst structures that are not as conducive? These questions will be addressed through a combination of observing platforms and high-resolution modeling. For the observations, satellite data from TRMM and CloudSat and airborne Doppler data will be used, as well as microphysical probe measurements from previous joint NASA-NOAA field campaigns (CAMEX-3, -4, TCSP, NAMMA). For the models, both the WRF-NMM and WRF-ARW will be run at cloud-resolving grid length for comparison with the observations and with each other.

Project PI: Robert Rogers/NOAA/AOML

Robert Rogers, NOAA/AOML Hurricane Research Division, 4301 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami, FL 33149



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Started: Aug 10, 2010

Last Activity: Mar 17, 2011


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