Academic Commons

Articles

Role of Radiative–Convective Feedbacks in Spontaneous Tropical Cyclogenesis in Idealized Numerical Simulations

Camargo, Suzana J.; Sobel, Adam H.

The authors perform 3D cloud-resolving simulations of radiative–convective equilibrium (RCE) in a rotating framework, with interactive radiation and surface fluxes and fixed sea surface temperature. A tropical cyclone is allowed to develop spontaneously from a homogeneous environment, rather than initializing the circulation with a weak vortex or moist bubble (as is often done in numerical simulations of tropical cyclones). The resulting tropical cyclogenesis is compared to the self-aggregation of convection that occurs in nonrotating RCE simulations. The feedbacks leading to cyclogenesis are quantified using a variance budget equation for the column-integrated frozen moist static energy. In the initial development of a broad circulation, feedbacks involving longwave radiation and surface enthalpy fluxes dominate, which is similar to the initial phase of nonrotating self-aggregation. Mechanism denial experiments are also performed to determine the extent to which the radiative feedbacks that are essential to nonrotating self-aggregation are important for tropical cyclogenesis. Results show that radiative feedbacks aid cyclogenesis but are not strictly necessary.

Files

Also Published In

Title
Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1175/JAS-D-15-0380.1

More About This Work

Academic Commons provides global access to research and scholarship produced at Columbia University, Barnard College, Teachers College, Union Theological Seminary and Jewish Theological Seminary. Academic Commons is managed by the Columbia University Libraries.