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Evolution of Frontal Structure Associated with Extratropical Transitioning Hurricanes

Title: Evolution of Frontal Structure Associated with Extratropical Transitioning Hurricanes.
Name(s): Maue, Ryan Nicholas, author
O’Brien, James J., professor directing thesis
Bourassa, Mark, committee member
Hart, Robert, committee member
Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, degree granting department
Florida State University, degree granting institution
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2004
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Many tropical cyclones move poleward, encounter vertical shear associated with the midlatitude circulation, and undergo a process called extratropical transition (ET). One of the many factors affecting the post-transition extratropical storm in terms of reintensification, frontal structure, and overall evolution is the upper-level flow pattern. Schultz et al. (1998) categorized extratropical cyclones according to two of the many possible cyclone paradigms in terms of the upper-level trough configuration: The Norwegian cyclone model (Bjerknes and Solberg 1922) associated with high-amplitude diffluent trough flow and the Shapiro-Keyser cyclone lifecycle (1990) with low-amplitude confluent troughs. Broadly speaking, the former category is associated with a strong, meridionally oriented cold front with a weak warm front while the latter lifecycle usually entails a prominent, zonally oriented warm front. However, as will be shown, simple antipode lifecycle definitions fail to capture hybrid or cross-lifecycle evolution of transitioned tropical cyclones. To exemplify the importance upper-level features such as jet streaks and troughs, a potential vorticity framework is coupled with vector frontogenesis functions to diagnose the interaction between the poleward transitioning cyclone and the midlatitude circulation. Particular focus is concentrated upon the evolution and strength of frontal fracture from both a PV and frontogenesis viewpoint. The final outcome of extratropical transition is highly variable depending on characteristics of the tropical cyclone, SSTs, and environmental factors such as strength of vertical shear. Here, three storms (Irene 1999, Fabian 2003, and Kate 2003) typify the inherent variability of one such ET outcome, warm seclusion. Very strong winds are often observed in excess of 50 ms-1 along the southwestern flank of the storm down the bent-back warm front. The low-level wind field kinematics are examined using vector frontogenesis functions and QuikSCAT winds. A complex empirical orthogonal function (CEOF) technique is adapted to temporally interpolate ECMWF model fields (T, MSLP) to overpass times of the scatterometer, an improvement over simple linear interpolation. Overall, the above diagnosis is used to support a hypothesis concerning the prevalence of hurricane-force winds surrounding secluded systems.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-2662 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Thesis submitted to the Department of Meteorology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science.
Degree Awarded: Fall Semester, 2004.
Date of Defense: November 12, 2004.
Keywords: Extratropical Transition, Frontogenesis, Fronts, Quikscat, Cyclone Lifecycles, Warm Seclusion, Frontal Fracture, Potential Vorticity, Hurricane Kate, Hurricane Irene, Hurricane Fabian, Tropical Cyclones
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: James J. O’Brien, Professor Directing Thesis; Mark Bourassa, Committee Member; Robert Hart, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Meteorology
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Owner Institution: FSU

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Maue, R. N. (2004). Evolution of Frontal Structure Associated with Extratropical Transitioning Hurricanes. Retrieved from