Tropical Cyclone Structure and Motion
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA DEPT OF METEOROLOGY
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The long-term goal is to improve tropical cyclone track and intensity prediction through a research program combining high resolution modeling and detailed observational studies to investigate physical processes by which the motion and structure of a tropical cyclone are modified. The objective is to investigate the physical processes that occur as a tropical cyclone interacts with the environment such that motion and structure changes occur. Specific interactions being studied are with baroclinic environments in the tropics and in the midlatitudes during extratropical transition, and with topography as a tropical storm makes landfall. As a storm makes landfall, significant asymmetries in the low-level wind structure are expected to develop with marked impact on precipitation and wind damage patterns. During extratropical transition, radical changes to the storm structure occur as the warm core is eroded by vertical wind shear and intruding cold, dry air from the midlatitudes. Reintensification to a strong midlatitude system is possible, and to further complicate matters, passage over islands with significant topographic features can occur during this transitioning process. In cases in which forecast models poorly predicted the motion and re-intensification of the storm during these transitional periods, better understanding of these processes should improve motion and intensity forecasts.