Isentropic analysis on the intensification of Hurricane Edouard (2014)

Juan Fang, Olivier Pauluis, Fuqing Zhang

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An isentropic analysis technique is adopted in this study to investigate the intensification of Hurricane Edouard (2014) predicted by an experimental real-time convection-permitting hurricane analysis and forecast system. This technique separates the vertical mass transport in terms of equivalent potential temperature θe for the rising air parcels at high entropy from the subsiding air at low entropy. It is found that as Edouard intensifies the vertical circulation becomes wider via the expansion of upward (downward) mass flux to higher (lower) θe. In the early developing stages, the asymmetric convection dominates the vertical circulation and leads to a remarkable upward mass flux maximum center in the upper troposphere. When Edouard becomes intense, the axisymmetric convection becomes important to the upper-level vertical mass transport while the asymmetric convection still dominates the low-level vertical mass transport. Development of the warm core in the eye leads to double maxima along the θe axis for both the isentropic-mean relative humidity and tangential velocity. The isentropic-mean properties such as the mid- to upper-level relative humidity, vertical velocity, and radial outflow decrease considerably while the mid- to upper-level vorticity enhances on the high-θe side before the onset of rapid intensification. The isentropic analysis also reveals that as Edouard intensifies the eye characterized by warm and dry core first forms in the low to middle troposphere and then gradually expands upward. The abovementioned results indicate that the isentropic framework may have the advantages of binning common variables with θe that could reflect the changes of the tropical cyclone structure in the inner-core region without a prior specification of the location of the storm center.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4177-4197
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of the Atmospheric Sciences
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017


  • Hurricanes
  • Isentropic analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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