Characterizing Surface Enthalpy Flux and Ocean Patterns in Rapidly Intensifying Tropical Cyclones
Bray, Mason Andrew Clark
AdvisorWood, Kimberly M.
CommitteeMercer, Andrew E.
Dyer, Jamie L.
An analysis to determine physical and spatial patterns of the surface latent heat flux (LHF) and near surface (5m) salinity (NSS) beneath tropical cyclones (TCs) in the North Atlantic and eastern North Pacific basins during the first 24 hours of rapid intensification (RI) was conducted using empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis. To determine if these patterns were unique to RI, TC RI cases were compared to three non-RI intensification thresholds, 10 kt, 15 kt and 20 kt, for both LHF and NSS. Though similarities exist between non-RI and RI cases physical and spatial patterns unique to the RI cases did exist. Sea surface temperatures associated with statistically identified TC groups were assessed for their potential influence on RI. While inconclusive in the eastern North Pacific, NSS in the Atlantic may play a role for RI TCs in areas affected by river discharge from South America.