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Open AccessArticle

Impacts of the Lower Stratosphere on the Development of Intense Tropical Cyclones

by Zachary Moon 1,2 and Chanh Kieu 1,*
1
Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA
2
Department of Meteorology, Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA 16802, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2017, 8(7), 128; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos8070128
Received: 12 June 2017 / Revised: 6 July 2017 / Accepted: 15 July 2017 / Published: 19 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tropical Cyclones and Their Impacts)
This study examines potential impacts of the lower stratosphere on the development and the inner-core structure of intense tropical cyclones (TCs). By initializing the Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting (HWRF) model with different monthly averaged sounding profiles in the Northwestern Pacific and the North Atlantic basins, it is shown that the lower stratosphere layer (LSL) can impose a noticeable influence on the TC structure and development via formation of an extra warm core near the tropopause along with a thin layer of inflow in the LSL at the high-intensity limit. Specifically, a lower tropopause level allows for higher TC intensity and a more distinct double warm core structure. Likewise, a weaker LSL stratification also corresponds to a warmer upper-level core and higher intensity. Of further significance is that the double warm core formation is more sensitive to tropopause variations in the Northwestern Pacific basin than those in the North Atlantic basin, given the same sea surface temperature. The results suggest that variations in tropopause level and LSL stratification could be an important factor that is responsible for the long-term variability of TC intensity. View Full-Text
Keywords: tropical cyclones; lower stratosphere interaction; HWRF model; tropical cyclone intensity; typhoons tropical cyclones; lower stratosphere interaction; HWRF model; tropical cyclone intensity; typhoons
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Moon, Z.; Kieu, C. Impacts of the Lower Stratosphere on the Development of Intense Tropical Cyclones. Atmosphere 2017, 8, 128.

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