TY - JOUR

T1 - Inner-core vacillation cycles during the intensification of Hurricane Katrina

AU - Nguyen, Chi

AU - Reeder, Michael

AU - Davidson, Noel

AU - Smith, Roger

AU - Montgomery, Michael

PY - 2011

Y1 - 2011

N2 - A simulation of Hurricane Katrina (2005) using the Australian Bureau of Meteorology s operational model for tropical-cyclone prediction (TCLAPS) shows that the simulated vortex vacillates between almost symmetric and highly asymmetric phases. During the symmetric phase, the eyewall comprises elongated convective bands and both the low-level potential vorticity (PV) and pseudo-equivalent potential temperature I?e fields exhibit a ring structure, with the maximum at some radius from the vortex centre. During this phase the mean flow intensifies comparatively rapidly, as the maximum acceleration of the mean tangential wind occurs near the radius of maximum mean tangential wind (RMW). In contrast, during the asymmetric phase the eyewall is more polygonal, with vortical hot towers (VHTs) located at the vertices. The low-level PV and I?e fields have monopole structures with the maximum at the centre. The intensification rate is lower than during the symmetric phase because the mean tangential wind accelerates most rapidly well within the RMW.
The symmetric-to-asymmetric transition is accompanied by the development of VHTs within the eyewall. The VHTs are shown to be initiated by barotropica??convective instability associated with the ring-like structure of PV in the eyewall where the convective instability is large. During the reverse asymmetric-to-symmetric transition, the VHTs weaken as the local vertical wind shear increases and the convective available potential energy is consumed by convection. The weakened VHTs move outwards, similar to vortex Rossby waves, and are stretched by the angular shear of the mean vortex. Simultaneously, the rapid filamentation zone outside the RMW weakens, becoming more favourable for the development of convection. The next symmetric phase emerges as the convection reorganizes into a more symmetric eyewall. It is proposed that vacillation cycles occur in young tropical cyclones and are distinct from the eyewall replacement cycles that tend to occur in strong and mature tropical cyclones. Copyright A? 2011 Royal Meteorological Society

AB - A simulation of Hurricane Katrina (2005) using the Australian Bureau of Meteorology s operational model for tropical-cyclone prediction (TCLAPS) shows that the simulated vortex vacillates between almost symmetric and highly asymmetric phases. During the symmetric phase, the eyewall comprises elongated convective bands and both the low-level potential vorticity (PV) and pseudo-equivalent potential temperature I?e fields exhibit a ring structure, with the maximum at some radius from the vortex centre. During this phase the mean flow intensifies comparatively rapidly, as the maximum acceleration of the mean tangential wind occurs near the radius of maximum mean tangential wind (RMW). In contrast, during the asymmetric phase the eyewall is more polygonal, with vortical hot towers (VHTs) located at the vertices. The low-level PV and I?e fields have monopole structures with the maximum at the centre. The intensification rate is lower than during the symmetric phase because the mean tangential wind accelerates most rapidly well within the RMW.
The symmetric-to-asymmetric transition is accompanied by the development of VHTs within the eyewall. The VHTs are shown to be initiated by barotropica??convective instability associated with the ring-like structure of PV in the eyewall where the convective instability is large. During the reverse asymmetric-to-symmetric transition, the VHTs weaken as the local vertical wind shear increases and the convective available potential energy is consumed by convection. The weakened VHTs move outwards, similar to vortex Rossby waves, and are stretched by the angular shear of the mean vortex. Simultaneously, the rapid filamentation zone outside the RMW weakens, becoming more favourable for the development of convection. The next symmetric phase emerges as the convection reorganizes into a more symmetric eyewall. It is proposed that vacillation cycles occur in young tropical cyclones and are distinct from the eyewall replacement cycles that tend to occur in strong and mature tropical cyclones. Copyright A? 2011 Royal Meteorological Society

UR - http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/qj.823

U2 - 10.1002/qj.823

DO - 10.1002/qj.823

M3 - Article

SN - 0035-9009

VL - 137

SP - 829

EP - 844

JO - Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society

JF - Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society

IS - 657

ER -