Understanding the rapid intensification of tropical cyclone Titli using Hurricane WRF model simulations
Keywords:Rapid intensification, Tropical cyclone, Hurricane WRF
Understanding Rapid Intensification (RI) is crucial for improving the Tropical Cyclone (TC) intensity forecast skill and TC induced disaster preparedness. The physical processes that lead to RI are not well studied over the North Indian Ocean (NIO) region. Two TC cases, i.e., Titli (exhibited RI) and Phethai (not exhibited RI) from the 2018 post-monsoon season are considered to understand the environmental conditions responsible for making RI happen. The Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting (HWRF) model produced simulations for Titli and Phethai are analyzed to understand the intensification changes. The purpose of this study is to investigate the environmental and storm structure characteristics that led to the RI of TC Titli when compared to TC Phethai. The Phethai and Titli simulations are initially validated against the best estimations by India Meteorological Department (IMD) and compared in terms of the environmental vertical wind shear as this parameter is often negatively correlated with TC intensification. Area averages of the deep-layer and mid-layer vertical wind shear over the TC environment suggest that shear did not affect the intensification of the Titli simulation. Initially, Titli contained higher magnitudes of relative humidity throughout the troposphere within the storm’s circulation. This steered to a higher upward mass flux in the troposphere and rapid intensification of relative vorticity (circulation) in the middle troposphere prior to any significant change ensued at the surface. After a deep vortex was established, the mass flux (and lower-tropospheric convergence) continued to rise, leading to RI. These results offer a basis for future research to understand better and forecast the development of RI.
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