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Open AccessArticle

An Observational Study of the Symmetric Boundary Layer Structure and Tropical Cyclone Intensity

1
Climate Center of Jiangsu Province, Nanjing 210000, China
2
Hurricane Research Division, NOAA/AOML, and Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies, University of Miami, Miami, FL 33149, USA
3
Joint Numerical Testbed Program, Research Applications Laboratory, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO 80305, USA
4
Department of Earth and Environment, Florida International University, Miami, FL 33149, USA
5
Institute of Oceanography, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200000, China
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Joint Centre for Data Assimilation Research and Application, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, Nanjing 210000, China
7
Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, Miami, FL 33149, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2020, 11(2), 158; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11020158
Received: 19 December 2019 / Revised: 22 January 2020 / Accepted: 27 January 2020 / Published: 3 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Hazards)
This study analyses Global Positioning System dropsondes to document the axisymmetric tropical cyclone (TC) boundary-layer structure, based on storm intensity. A total of 2608 dropsondes from 42 named TCs in the Atlantic basin from 1998 to 2017 are used in the composite analyses. The results show that the axisymmetric inflow layer depth, the height of maximum tangential wind speed, and the thermodynamic mixed layer depth are all shallower in more intense TCs. The results also show that more intense TCs tend to have a deep layer of the near-saturated air inside the radius of maximum wind speed (RMW). The magnitude of the radial gradient of equivalent potential temperature (θe) near the RMW correlates positively with storm intensity. Above the inflow layer, composite structures of TCs with different intensities all possess a ring of anomalously cool temperatures surrounding the warm-core, with the magnitude of the warm-core anomaly proportional to TC intensity. The boundary layer composites presented here provide a climatology of how axisymmetric TC boundary layer structure changes with intensity.
Keywords: tropical cyclone; atmospheric boundary layer; axisymmetric structure; storm intensity; climatology tropical cyclone; atmospheric boundary layer; axisymmetric structure; storm intensity; climatology
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ren, Y.; Zhang, J.A.; Vigh, J.L.; Zhu, P.; Liu, H.; Wang, X.; Wadler, J.B. An Observational Study of the Symmetric Boundary Layer Structure and Tropical Cyclone Intensity. Atmosphere 2020, 11, 158.

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