Articles | Volume 15, issue 18
Research article
16 Sep 2015
Research article |  | 16 Sep 2015

Effect of tropical cyclones on the tropical tropopause parameters observed using COSMIC GPS RO data

S. Ravindra Babu, M. Venkat Ratnam, G. Basha, B. V. Krishnamurthy, and B. Venkateswararao

Abstract. Tropical cyclones (TCs) are deep convective synoptic-scale systems that play an important role in modifying the thermal structure, tropical tropopause parameters and hence also modify stratosphere–troposphere exchange (STE) processes. In the present study, high vertical resolution and high accuracy measurements from COSMIC Global Positioning System (GPS) radio occultation (RO) measurements are used to investigate and quantify the effect of tropical cyclones that occurred over Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea in the last decade on the tropical tropopause parameters. The tropopause parameters include cold-point tropopause altitude (CPH) and temperature (CPT), lapse-rate tropopause altitude (LRH) and temperature (LRT) and the thickness of the tropical tropopause layer (TTL), that is defined as the layer between convective outflow level (COH) and CPH, obtained from GPS RO data. From all the TC events, we generate the mean cyclone-centred composite structure for the tropopause parameters and removed it from the climatological mean obtained from averaging the GPS RO data from 2002 to 2013. Since the TCs include eye, eye walls and deep convective bands, we obtained the tropopause parameters based on radial distance from the cyclone eye. In general, decrease in the CPH in the eye is noticed as expected. However, as the distance from the cyclone eye increases by 300, 400, and 500 km, an enhancement in CPH (CPT) and LRH (LRT) is observed. Lowering of CPH (0.6 km) and LRH (0.4 km) values with coldest CPT and LRT (2–3 K) within a 500 km radius of the TC centre is noticed. Higher (2 km) COH leading to the lowering of TTL thickness (2–3 km) is clearly observed. There are multiple tropopause structures in the profiles of temperature obtained within 100 km from the centre of the TC. These changes in the tropopause parameters are expected to influence the water vapour transport from the troposphere to the lower stratosphere, and ozone from the lower stratosphere to the upper troposphere, hence influencing STE processes.

Short summary
The effect of tropical cyclones (TCs) that occurred over the north Indian Ocean in the last decade on the tropical tropopause parameters has been quantified for the first time. The vertical structure of temperature and tropopause parameters within the 5º radius away from the cyclone centre during TC period is also presented. The water vapour variability in the vicinity of TC is investigated. It is demonstrated that the TCs can significantly affect the tropical tropopause and thus STE processes.
Final-revised paper