Maue, R. (2010).
Warm Seclusion Extratropical Cyclones. Ph.D. thesis, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL.
Abstract: The warm seclusion or mature stage of the extratropical cyclone lifecycle often has structural characteristics reminiscent of major tropical cyclones including eye-like moats of calm air at the barotropic warm-core center surrounded by hurricane force winds along the bent-back warm front. Many extratropical cyclones experience periods of explosive intensification or deepening (bomb) as a result of nonlinear dynamical feedbacks associated with latent heat release. Considerable dynamical structure changes occur during short time periods of several hours in which lower stratospheric and upper-tropospheric origin potential vorticity combines with ephemeral lower-tropospheric, diabatically generated potential vorticity to form a coherent, upright tower circulation. At the center, anomalously warm and moist air relative to the surrounding environment is secluded and may exist for days into the future. Even with the considerable body of research conducted during the last century, many questions remain concerning the warm seclusion process. The focus of this work is on the diagnosis, climatology, and synoptic-dynamic development of the warm seclusion and surrounding flank of intense winds. To develop a climatology of warm seclusion and explosive extratropical cyclones, current long-period reanalysis datasets are utilized along with storm tracking procedures and cyclone phase space diagnostics. Limitations of the reanalysis products are discussed with special focus on tropical cyclone diagnosis and the recent dramatic decrease in global accumulated tropical cyclone energy. A large selection of case studies is simulated with the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) mesoscale model using full-physics and “fake dry” adiabatic runs in order to capture the very fast warm seclusion development. Results are presented concerning the critical role of latent heat release and the combination of advective and diabatically generated potential vorticity in the generation of the coherent tower circulation characteristic of the warm seclusion. To motivate future research, issues related to predictability are discussed with focus on medium-range forecasts of varying extratropical cyclone lifecycles. Additional work is presented relating tropical cyclones and large-scale climate variability with special emphasis on the abrupt and dramatic decline in recent global tropical cyclone accumulated cyclone energy.
Maue, R. N. (2004).
Evolution of Frontal Structure Associated with Extratropical Transitioning Hurricanes. Master's thesis, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL.
Abstract: Many tropical cyclones move poleward, encounter vertical shear associated with the midlatitude circulation, and undergo a process called extratropical transition (ET). One of the many factors affecting the post-transition extratropical storm in terms of reintensification, frontal structure, and overall evolution is the upper-level flow pattern. Schultz et al. (1998) categorized extratropical cyclones according to two of the many possible cyclone paradigms in terms of the upper-level trough configuration: The Norwegian cyclone model (Bjerknes and Solberg 1922) associated with high-amplitude diffluent trough flow and the Shapiro-Keyser cyclone lifecycle (1990) with low-amplitude confluent troughs. Broadly speaking, the former category is associated with a strong, meridionally oriented cold front with a weak warm front while the latter lifecycle usually entails a prominent, zonally oriented warm front. However, as will be shown, simple antipode lifecycle definitions fail to capture hybrid or cross-lifecycle evolution of transitioned tropical cyclones. To exemplify the importance upper-level features such as jet streaks and troughs, a potential vorticity framework is coupled with vector frontogenesis functions to diagnose the interaction between the poleward transitioning cyclone and the midlatitude circulation. Particular focus is concentrated upon the evolution and strength of frontal fracture from both a PV and frontogenesis viewpoint. The final outcome of extratropical transition is highly variable depending on characteristics of the tropical cyclone, SSTs, and environmental factors such as strength of vertical shear. Here, three storms (Irene 1999, Fabian 2003, and Kate 2003) typify the inherent variability of one such ET outcome, warm seclusion. Very strong winds are often observed in excess of 50 ms-1 along the southwestern flank of the storm down the bent-back warm front. The low-level wind field kinematics are examined using vector frontogenesis functions and QuikSCAT winds. A complex empirical orthogonal function (CEOF) technique is adapted to temporally interpolate ECMWF model fields (T, MSLP) to overpass times of the scatterometer, an improvement over simple linear interpolation. Overall, the above diagnosis is used to support a hypothesis concerning the prevalence of hurricane-force winds surrounding secluded systems.
Keywords: Extratropical Transition, Frontogenesis, Fronts, Quikscat, Cyclone Lifecycles, Warm Seclusion, Frontal Fracture, Potential Vorticity, Hurricane Kate, Hurricane Irene, Hurricane Fabian, Tropical Cyclones