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Excitation of Low-Level Energy Wave Accumulations and Tropical Cyclone Formation

by Long, Dana Marie

Abstract (Summary)
A spectral shallow water model is used at the 850 mb level to investigate the effects of cyclonic vorticity on heating in the lower troposphere and how this in turn causes an increase in cyclonic vorticity generation, creating a nonlinear vorticity feedback mechanism.

The model is initialized with NCEP-NCAR reanalysis data from the period 1990-2003 and then used to simulate a heating forcing function centered in east Africa. The model is simulated using a Gaussian damped basic state, a zonally symmetric basic state, and a zero basic state. The heating forcing function is applied to these different basic states with a scaled mass sink to simulate heating in the atmosphere. The heating forcing function creates a vorticity feedback mechanism that increases cyclonic vorticity.

The analysis of these different basic states shows that the Gaussian damped basic state reduces the amplitude of the observational fields at the poles, increases the observational fields in the tropical region and increases the stability of the model at shallow depths. The zero basic state does have a significant effect on cyclonic vorticity generation, but does not improve the capability of the wave to propagate westward into the Atlantic Ocean. The zonally symmetric basic state succeeds in increasing the amount of cyclonic vorticity generated. The zonally symmetric basic state, once the vorticity non-feedback region is extended, is also very effective at increasing the amount of cyclonic vorticity generated and increasing the propagation of this wave westward into the Atlantic Ocean. The analysis suggests that the vorticity feedback mechanism created by the heating forcing function is affected by cyclonic vorticity when a zero and zonally symmetric basic state are used.

Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Dr. Peter Webster; Dr. Judith Curry; Dr. Robert Black; Dr. Rong Fu

School:Georgia Institute of Technology

School Location:USA - Georgia

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:earth atmospheric sciences

ISBN:

Date of Publication:07/19/2005

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