Environmental Factors and Internal Processes Contributing to the Interrupted Rapid Decay of Hurricane Joaquin (2015)
Hendricks, Eric A.
Elsberry, Russell L.
Velden, Christopher S.
Jorgensen, Adam C.
Jordan, Mary S.
Creasey, Robert L.
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The objective in this study is to demonstrate how two unique datasets from the Tropical Cyclone Intensity (TCI-15) field experiment can be used to diagnose the environmental and internal factors contributing to the interruption of the rapid decay of Hurricane Joaquin (2015) and then a subsequent 30-h period of constant intensity. A special CIMSS vertical wind shear (VWS) dataset reprocessed at 15-min intervals provides a more precise documentation of the large (;15 m s21) VWS throughout most of the rapid decay period, and then the timing of a rapid decrease in VWS to moderate (;8 m s21) values prior to, and following, the rapid decay period. During this period, the VWS was moderate because Joaquin was between large VWSs to the north and near-zero VWSs to the south, which is considered to be a key factor in how Joaquin was able to be sustained at hurricane intensity even though it was moving poleward over colder water. A unique dataset of High Definition Sounding System (HDSS) dropwindsondes deployed from the NASA WB-57 during the TCI-15 field experiment is utilized to calculate zero-wind centers during Joaquin center overpasses that reveal for the first time the vortex tilt structure through the entire troposphere. The HDSS datasets are also utilized to calculate the inertial stability profiles and the inner-core potential temperature anomalies in the vertical. Deeper lower-tropospheric layers of near-zero vortex tilt are correlated with stronger storm intensities, and upper-tropospheric layers with large vortex tilts due to large VWSs are correlated with weaker storm intensities.
The article of record as published may be found at https://doi.org/10.1175/WAF-D-17-0190.1
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