Articles | Volume 12, issue 9
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 12, 4001–4009, 2012
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 12, 4001–4009, 2012

Research article 04 May 2012

Research article | 04 May 2012

The genesis of Typhoon Nuri as observed during the Tropical Cyclone Structure 2008 (TCS08) field experiment – Part 2: Observations of the convective environment

M. T. Montgomery1 and R. K. Smith2 M. T. Montgomery and R. K. Smith
  • 1Department of Meteorology, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA & NOAA's Hurricane Research Division, Miami, FL, USA
  • 2Meteorological Institute, University of Munich, Munich, Germany

Abstract. Analyses of thermodynamic data gathered from airborne dropwindsondes during the Tropical Cyclone Structure (2008) experiment are presented for the disturbance that became Typhoon Nuri. Although previous work has suggested that Nuri formed within the protective recirculating "pouch" region of a westward propagating wave-like disturbance and implicated rotating deep convective clouds in driving the inflow to spin up the tangential circulation of the system-scale flow, the nature of the thermodynamic environment that supported the genesis remains a topic of debate.

During the genesis phase, vertical profiles of virtual potential temperature show little variability between soundings on a particular day and the system-average soundings likewise show a negligible change. There is a tendency also for the lower and middle troposphere to moisten. However, the data show that, on the scale of the recirculating region of the disturbance, there was no noticeable reduction of virtual temperature in the lower troposphere, but a small warming (less than 1 K) in the upper troposphere. Vertical profiles of pseudo-equivalent potential temperature, θe, during the genesis show a modestly decreasing deficit of θe in the vertical between the surface and the height of minimum θe (between 3 and 4 km), from 17.5 K to 15.2 K.

The findings reported here are consistent with those found for developing disturbances observed in the Pre-Depression Investigation of Cloud Systems in the Tropics (PREDICT) experiment in 2010. Some implications of the findings are discussed.

Final-revised paper