On the coupling of convective updrafts prior to secondary eyewall formation in Hurricane Katrina (2005)

Abstract

Hurricane Katrina (2005) was simulated by the Advanced Research Weather Research and Forecasting model to understand the mechanism of a secondary eyewall formation (SEF) prior to its last landfall. The storm underwent a series of structural changes that were deemed necessary for the concentric cycle to begin, which included (1) increased rainband activity outside the primary eyewall in the hours before, mostly related to an intensifying main feeder band, (2) close to initiation of the SEF, an updraft (explained by a pre-existing hypothesis) emerged outside the primary eyewall near the top of the boundary layer (BL), (3) this updraft then intensified and extended both upward and outward, while the storm intensified and approached SEF, (4) eventually, the updraft coupled with the upward motion associated with rainband-related convection near the SEF radius, and (5) once the alignment occurred, the deep updraft quickly organized to support deep convection that led to SEF within hours of initiation. The coupling of updrafts emanating from the BL with the environmental upward motion associated with the pre-existing rainband activity is proposed to be the key mechanism for the SEF initiation in this case.

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Abbreviations

AHW:

Advanced Hurricane WRF

ARW:

Advanced Research WRF

BL:

Boundary layer

BV:

Bogus vortex

ERC:

Eyewall replacement cycle

HMW12:

Huang et al. (2012)

LH:

Latent heat

M:

Absolute angular momentum

MM5:

Fifth-generation mesoscale model

ORB:

Outer rainband

PBL:

Planetary boundary layer

PE:

Primary eyewall

PV:

Potential vorticity

PW:

Precipitable water

RAINEX:

The Hurricane Rainband and Intensity Change Experiment

RRTM:

Rapid radiative transfer model

SE:

Secondary eyewall

SEF:

Secondary eyewall formation

SMCZ:

Secondary maximum convergence zone

SST:

Sea surface temperature

TC:

Tropical cyclone

TM08:

Terwey and Montgomery (2008)

VHT:

Vortical hot tower

VRW:

Vortex Rossby wave

WRF:

Weather research and forecast model

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Acknowledgements

Comments by Drs. James Kossin, Ademe Mekonnen, Yevgenii Rastigejev, Jing Zhang, and three reviewers are highly appreciated. This research was supported by the National Science Foundation Awards AGS-1265783, HRD-1036563, OCI-1126543, and CNS-1429464.

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Correspondence to Yuh-Lang Lin.

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Responsible Editor: M. Kaplan.

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Garcia-Rivera, J.M., Lin, Y. On the coupling of convective updrafts prior to secondary eyewall formation in Hurricane Katrina (2005). Meteorol Atmos Phys 131, 29–53 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00703-017-0557-2

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