The role of boundary-layer friction on tropical cyclogenesis and subsequent intensification: Tropical Cyclogenesis and Subsequent Intensification
Montgomery, Michael T.
Smith, Roger K.
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A recent idealized, high-resolution, numerical model simulation of tropical cyclogenesis is compared with a simulation in which the surface drag is set to zero. It is shown that, while spin-up occurs in both simulations, the vortex in the one without surface drag takes over twice as long to reach its intensification begin time. When surface friction is not included, the inner core size of the simulated vortex is considerably larger and the subsequent vortex intensity is significantly weaker than in the case with friction. In the absence of surface drag, the convection eventually develops without any systematic organization and lies often outside the radius of azimuthally averaged maximum tangential winds. The results underscore the crucial role of friction in organizing deep convection in the inner core of the nascent vortex and raise the possibility that the timing of tropical cyclogenesis in numerical models may have an important dependence on the boundary-layer parametrization scheme used in the model.
The article of record as published may be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/qj.3104
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