Gradient wind balance in tropical cyclones in high-resolution global experiments

Yoshiaki Miyamoto, Masaki Satoh, Masaki Tomita, Kazuyoshi Oouchi, Yohei Yamada, Chihiro Kodama, James Kinter

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20 Citations (Scopus)


The degree of gradient wind balance was investigated in a number of tropical cyclones (TCs) simulated under realistic environments. The results of global-scale numerical simulations without cumulus parameterization were used, with a horizontal mesh size of 7 km. On average, azimuthally averaged maximum tangential velocities at 850 (925) hPa in the simulated TCs were 0.72% (1.95%) faster than gradient wind- balanced tangential velocity (GWV) during quasi-steady periods. Of the simulated TCs, 75% satisfied the gradient wind balance at the radius of maximum wind speed (RMW) at 850 and at 925 hPa to within about 4.0%. These results were qualitatively similar to those obtained during the intensification phase. In contrast, averages of the maximum and minimum deviations from the GWV, in all the azimuths at the RMW, achieved up to 40% of the maximum tangential velocity. Azimuthally averaged tangential velocities exceeded the GWV (i.e., supergradient) inside the RMW in the lower troposphere, whereas the velocities were close to or slightly slower than GWV (i.e., subgradient) in the other regions. The tangential velocities at 925 hPa were faster (slower) in the right-hand (left hand) side of the TC motion. When the tangential velocities at theRMW were supergradient, the primary circulation tended to decay rapidly in the vertical direction and slowly in the radial direction, and the eyewall updraft and the RMWwere at larger radii. Statistical analyses revealed that the TC with supergradient wind at theRMWat 850 hPa was characterized by stronger intensity, larger RMW, more axisymmetric structure, and an intensity stronger than potential intensity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1908-1926
Number of pages19
JournalMonthly Weather Review
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2014 May
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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