Helical scenario of tropical cyclone genesis and intensification

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Authors
Levina, G.V.
Montgomery, M.T.
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2011
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Abstract
A helical scenario of tropical cyclogenesis and further vortex intensification is proposed based on results of direct numerical simulation of atmospheric flows. The main idea of the scenario consists in a specific topology of helical flows which are characterized by the linkage of vortex lines. Velocity fields resulting from a high resolution numerical simulation by the Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (RAMS) are used to calculate helical and integral characteristics during a tropical cyclone formation. It is shown how non-zero mean helicity is generated by moist convective atmospheric turbulence, which implies a new flow topology with linked vortex lines. A possible role of vortical hot towers (VHTs) is discussed in generating the linkage. It is shown that the linkage results in a positive feedback between the horizontal and vertical circulation in the formation of a larger-scale vortex and contributes to the instability of the macro vortex.
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The article of record as published may be located at http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1742-6596/318/7/072012
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Meteorology
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Journal of Physics: Conference Series 318 (2011) 072012, 13th European Turbulence Conference (ETC13)
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This publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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