The generation of kinetic energy in tropical cyclones revisited
Smith, Roger K.
Montgomery, Michael T.
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Many previous diagnoses of the global kinetic energy for a tropical cyclone have given prominence to a global integral of a pressure-work term in the generation of kinetic energy. However, in his erudite textbook of atmospheric and oceanic dynamics, Gill (1982) derives a form of the kinetic energy equation in which there is no such explicit source term. In this paper we revisit the interpretations of the generation of kinetic energy given previously in the light of Gill's analysis and compare the various interpretations, which are non-unique.Further, even though global energetics provide a constraint on the flow evolution, in the context of the kinetic energy equation, they conceal important aspects of energy generation and consumption, a finding that highlights the limitations of a global kinetic energy budget in revealing the underlying dynamics of tropical cyclones.
This article has been accepted for publication and undergone full peer review but has not been through the copyediting, typesetting, pagination and proofreading process, which may lead to differences between this version and the Version of Record.Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological SocietyThe article of record as published may be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/qj.3332
RightsThis 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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