Presentation on theme: "Where Do the Hurricanes Come From?. Introduction A tropical cyclone is a rapidly- rotating storm system characterized by a low-pressure center, strong."— Presentation transcript:
Introduction A tropical cyclone is a rapidly- rotating storm system characterized by a low-pressure center, strong winds, and a spiral arrangement of thunderstorms that produce heavy rain. Total diameter: about 600km Different names in different ocean basins: hurricanes (Atlantic), typhoons (Western Pacific), cyclone (Indian Ocean)
Observation of tropical cyclones: Aircrafts (The hurricane hunters)
Observation of tropical cyclones: Satellite (1960s-Now)
Genesis and tracks of tropical cyclones –Different names: hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones –Genesis region generally in the tropics, especially between 5N-15N and 5S- 15S. –Western Pacific has the highest average number of tropical cyclones per year 16 4.4 8.9 5.4 2.5 3.4 4.3
1.SST > 27 o C (Poleward of about 20 o SST too cold for formation. Highest frequency in late summer to early autumn when water is warmest.) 2.Warm ocean mixed layer is thick enough to supply energy (this is why they weaken quickly upon landfall) 3.Unstable atmosphere with a moist lower/middle troposphere (central and western ocean basins) 4.Low vertical windshear (Otherwise upward transfer of latent heat disrupted) 5.Coriolis force (do not form between 5N-5S where Coriolis force is too weak) 6.Pre-existing low-level rotating circulations (tropical waves and other disturbances) Necessary environmental conditions for tropical cyclone formation
Video: Hurricane Katrina, The Storm that Drowned a City https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=974O47UmrII
Four stages of tropical cyclone formation Organized convection >200 km, >24 hours Vortex w/ max wind <38 mph Vortex w/ max wind 39-73 mph Vortex w/ max wind >74 mph
Tropical Disturbances Tropical disturbances are disorganized clusters of thunderstorms with weak pressure gradients and no rotation. Easterly waves, or ripples in the trade wind pattern, spawn hurricanes in the Atlantic. They are depicted by plotting streamlines, or lines of wind direction. The disturbance is located upstream of the wave axis.
Tropical depressions, tropical storms and hurricanes When at least one closed isobar is present, the disturbance is classified as a tropical depression. Further intensification, to wind speeds of 60km/hr (37mph), categorize the storm in the as a tropical storm. Hurricane status is gained when winds reach or exceed 120km/hr (74mph). A high percentage of depressions become tropical storms and an even higher percentage become hurricanes. Tropical depression Hurricane Tropical storm
Hurricane Paths Depends on the stage of development (storm intensity). Tropical disturbances and depressions are guided by the trade winds and move west. For tropical storms and hurricanes, upper-level winds and ocean temperatures have more influence on movement.
Hurricane Paths Hurricane movement may be highly erratic.
Saffir-Simpson scale classifies hurricanes into five categories based on: - central pressures (ended in 1990s) - maximum sustained wind speeds (used now) Hurricane Intensity Scale Categories 3, 4, 5 are collectively called major hurricanes. They account for 21% of hurricane landfall in U.S., but cause 83% of the damage.
Hurricane names that spell trouble Frequency of retired names by letters of the alphabet
Trends in Hurricane Activity Destructive hurricane seasons result in public awareness and general concern that hurricane activity is related to global warming. There is evidence indicating that the increase in category 4 and 5 Atlantic hurricanes is due to global warming.
AMO and Hurricane Activity The Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) is a 60yr oscillation in water temperatures and is a major factor in the increase in Atlantic hurricane activity.
Summary Tropical cyclone genesis: Western Pacific has the highest averaged number per year 6 necessary conditions for tropical cyclone genesis 4 stages of tropical cyclone genesis Tropical cyclone tracks Tropical cyclone intensity scale. Category 1: 74mph, category 5: 155mph Hurricane names: alphabetically, 6 lists in rotation Trends and variability in tropical cyclone activity
Works cited http://www.theawl.com/2012/06/hurricanes-names