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Impacts of sea-surface temperatures on rapid intensification and mature phases of super cyclone Amphan (2020)

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Abstract

Tropical cyclone rapid intensification (RI) is a major challenge to operational forecasters. Amphan was the most deadly cyclone over the north Indian Ocean basin as it caused 128 deaths in the region. This study aimed to understand the impacts of sea-surface temperatures (SSTs) generated from two leading operational agencies (i.e., Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) and National Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF)) in India on the RI and mature super cyclonic (SuCS) phases of the Amphan (2020) using the weather research and forecasting (WRF4.0) model. Three experiments were carried out using SSTs from INCOIS (INC), NCMRWF (NCM) and control (CNT) with an identical configuration at 3 km resolution with a lead time of up to 96 h. The results suggest that INC offered the best forecast in terms of track, intensity, RI and structure during the three different phases of the SuCS, i.e., RI, mature and weakening stages. The CNT yielded forecasts with the highest errors. The results of the model are validated with in-situ buoy and radar observations establishing that INC robustly captured the intensification rate and the structure compared to NCM and CNT. It is also revealed that 30–120 km radii are the key eyewall region contributing to the RI and mature phase of the SuCS Amphan through diabatic heating and convective bursts. The diabatic heating has been placed between 600 and 400 hPa near the eyewall region, and it is well supported by the formation of frozen hydrometeors in the SuCS. INC simulation is able to bring out those features accurately, leading to better intensity prediction, whereas NCM and CNT overestimated those features resulting in unrealistic intensification in the simulations. This study has a direct consequence to the operational forecasting agencies and disaster managers for policy and preparedness.

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Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful to the Indian Institute of Technology Bhubaneswar for providing the necessary infrastructure to carry out this research study. We are also grateful to the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) for providing financial support to this study. In addition, we are grateful to the Scientific and Engineering Research Board (SERB) for providing logistics and infrastructure. We extend our sincere gratitude to the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), Hyderabad, the National Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF), Delhi and India Meteorological Department (IMD) for providing datasets. We are grateful to NCEP-NCAR, CMORPH, for providing the WRF model and data for carrying out this research.

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VV: Executed the simulation, designing of experiments, carried out the detailed investigation and participated in writing of manuscript. SP: Conceived the research idea, helped in designing the experiments, participated in analysis of results and drafting of the manuscript. TC: Participated in discussion of results. SJ and AKM: Supplied the datasets and participated in discussion.

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Correspondence to Sandeep Pattnaik.

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Communicated by Kavirajan Rajendran

Corresponding editor: Kavirajan Rajendran

Supplementary materials pertaining to this article is available on the Journal of Earth System Science website (http://www.ias.ac.in/Journals/Journal_of_Earth_System_Science).

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Vishwakarma, V., Pattnaik, S., Chakraborty, T. et al. Impacts of sea-surface temperatures on rapid intensification and mature phases of super cyclone Amphan (2020). J Earth Syst Sci 131, 60 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12040-022-01816-1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12040-022-01816-1

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