DiNapoli, S. (2010).
Determining the Error Characteristics of H*WIND. Master's thesis, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL.
Abstract: The HRD Real-time Hurricane Wind Analysis System (H*Wind) is a software application used by NOAA's Hurricane Research Division to create a gridded tropical cyclone wind analysis based on a wide range of observations. One application of H*Wind fields is calibration of scatterometers for high wind speed environments. Unfortunately, the accuracy of the H*Wind product has not been studied extensively, and therefore the accuracy of scatterometer calibrations in these environments is also unknown. This investigation seeks to determine the uncertainty in the H*Wind product and estimate the contributions of several potential error sources. These error sources include random observation errors, relative bias between different data types, temporal drift resulting from combining non-simultaneous measurements, and smoothing and interpolation errors in the H*Wind software. The effects of relative bias between different data types and random observation errors are determined by performing statistical calculations on the observed wind speeds. We show that in the absence of large biases, the total contribution of all error sources results in an uncertainty of approximately 7% near the storm center, which increases to nearly 15% near the tropical storm force wind radius. The H*Wind analysis algorithm is found to introduce a positive bias to the wind speeds near the storm center, where the analyzed wind speeds are enhanced to match the highest observations. In addition, spectral analyses are performed to ensure that the filter wavelength of the final analysis product matches user specifications. With increased knowledge of these error sources and their effects, researchers will have a better understanding of the uncertainty in the H*Wind product, and can then judge the suitability of H*Wind for various research applications
Dukhovskoy, D. S., Morey, S. L., & O'Brien, J. J. (2009). Generation of baroclinic topographic waves by a tropical cyclone impacting a low-latitude continental shelf.
Continental Shelf Research, 29(1), 333–351.
Elsner, J. B., Strazzo, S. E., Jagger, T. H., LaRow, T., & Zhao, M. (2013). Sensitivity of Limiting Hurricane Intensity to SST in the Atlantic from Observations and GCMs.
J. Climate, 26(16), 5949–5957.
Guimond, S. (2010).
Tropical Cyclone Inner-Core Dynamics: A Latent Heat Retrieval and Its Effects on Intensity and Structure Change; and the Impacts of Effective Diffusion on the Axisymmetrization Process. Ph.D. thesis, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL.
Abstract: Despite the fact that latent heating in cloud systems drives many atmospheric circulations, including tropical cyclones, little is known of its magnitude and structure due in large part to inadequate observations. In this work, a reasonably high-resolution (2 km), four-dimensional airborne Doppler radar retrieval of the latent heat of condensation is presented for rapidly intensifying Hurricane Guillermo (1997). Several advancements in the retrieval algorithm are shown including: (1) analyzing the scheme within the dynamically consistent framework of a numerical model, (2) identifying algorithm sensitivities through the use of ancillary data sources and (3) developing a precipitation budget storage term parameterization. The determination of the saturation state is shown to be an important part of the algorithm for updrafts of ~ 5 m s-1 or less. The uncertainties in the magnitude of the retrieved heating are dominated by errors in the vertical velocity. Using a combination of error propagation and Monte Carlo uncertainty techniques, biases were found to be small, and randomly distributed errors in the heating magnitude were ~16 % for updrafts greater than 5 m s-1 and ~156 % for updrafts of 1 m s- 1. The impact of the retrievals is assessed by inserting the heating into realistic numerical simulations at 2 km resolution and comparing the generated wind structure to the Doppler radar observations of Guillermo. Results show that using the latent heat retrievals outperforms a simulation that relies on a state-of-the-art microphysics scheme (Reisner and Jeffery 2009), in terms of wind speed root-mean-square errors, explained variance and eye/eyewall structure. The incorrect transport of water vapor (a function of the sub-grid model and the numerical approximations to advection) and the restrictions on the magnitude of heat release that ensure the present model's stability are suggested as sources of error in the simulation without the retrievals. Motivated by the latent heat retrievals, the dynamics of vortex axisymmetrization from the perspective of thermal anomalies is investigated using an idealized, non-linear atmospheric model (HIGRAD). Attempts at reproducing the results of previous work (Nolan and Grasso 2003; NG03) revealed a discrepancy with the impacts of purely asymmetric forcing. While NG03 found that purely asymmetric heating led to a negligible, largely negative impact on the vortex intensification, in the present study the impacts of asymmetries are found to have an important, largely positive role. Absolute angular momentum budgets revealed that the essential difference between the present work and that of NG03 was the existence of a significant, axisymmetric secondary circulation in the basic-state vortex used in the HIGRAD simulations. This secondary circulation was larger than that present in NG03's simulations. The spin-up of the vortex caused by the asymmetric thermal anomalies was dominated by the axisymmetric fluxes of angular momentum at all times, indicating fundamentally different evolution of asymmetries in the presence of radial flow. Radial momentum budgets were performed to elucidate the mechanisms responsible for the formation of the physically significant secondary circulation. Results show that explicit (sub-grid) diffusion in the model was producing a gradient wind imbalance, which drives a radial inflow and associated secondary circulation in an attempt to re-gain balance. In addition, the production of vorticity anomalies from the asymmetric heating was found to be sensitive to the eddy diffusivity, with large differences between HIGRAD and the widely used WRF model for the exact same value of this uncertain parameter.
Hart, R. E., Maue, R. N., & Watson, M. C. (2007). Estimating Local Memory of Tropical Cyclones through MPI Anomaly Evolution.
Mon. Wea. Rev., 135(12), 3990–4005.
Holthuijsen, L. H., Powell, M. D., & Pietrzak, J. D. (2012). Wind and waves in extreme hurricanes.
J. Geophys. Res., 117(C9), n/a-n/a.
Keclik, A. (2014).
The Accuracy of the National Hurricane Center's United States Tropical Cyclone Landfall Forecasts in the Atlantic Basin (2004-2012). Bachelor's thesis, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL.
Kelly, D. L., Letson, D., Nelson, F., Nolan, D. S., & Solís, D. (2012). Evolution of subjective hurricane risk perceptions: A Bayesian approach.
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 81(2), 644–663.
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
Maue, R. N., & Hart, R. E. (2007). Comment on “Low frequency variability in globally integrated tropical cyclone power dissipation” by Ryan Sriver and Matthew Huber.
Geophys. Res. Lett., 34(11).