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Tropical Cyclone Motion in the Presence of Surface Discontinuity and Topography

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Doris Allen.

In this talk, the basic physics of tropical cyclone motion will first be reviewed. The major part of the talk will focus on how such movement is modified when a tropical cyclone encounters a surface discontinuity such as when it is about to make landfall. For a flat land that has a much higher friction than that of the ocean, the cyclone is “attracted” to the region of the highest roughness. Such an attraction can be explained by examining the various terms of the vorticity equation. In the presence of topography, the cyclone can be deflected substantially with sometimes a looping motion. These changes in the cyclone movement result from the variations in the relative contributions by different terms in the potential vorticity tendency equation. The extent to which such changes occur depend on the proximity of the cyclone to the topography, the size of the cyclone and the background environmental flow.

This talk is part of the Geophysical and Environmental Processes series.

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