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A moist Available Potential Energy budget for an axisymmetric tropical cyclone

Harris, B. L., Tailleux, R. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8998-9107, Holloway, C. E. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9903-8989 and Vidale, P. L. (2022) A moist Available Potential Energy budget for an axisymmetric tropical cyclone. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences. ISSN 1520-0469 (In Press)

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Abstract/Summary

The main energy source for the intensification of a tropical cyclone (TC) is widely accepted to be the transfer of energy from the ocean to the atmosphere via surface fluxes. The pathway through which these surface fluxes lead to an increase in the kinetic energy of the cyclone has typically been interpreted either in terms of total potential energy, dry Available Potential Energy (APE), or through the entropy-based heat engine viewpoint. Here, we use the local theory of APE to construct a budget of moist APE for an idealised axisymmetric simulation of a tropical cyclone. This is the first full budget of local moist APE budget for an atmospheric model. In the local moist APE framework, latent surface heat fluxes are the dominant generator of moist APE, which is then converted into kinetic energy via buoyancy fluxes. In the core region of the TC, the inward transport of APE by the secondary circulation is more important than its local production. The APE viewpoint describes spatially- and temporally-varying efficiencies; these may be useful in understanding how changes in efficiency influence TC development, and have a maximum that can be linked to the Carnot efficiency featuring in potential intensity theory.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Interdisciplinary Research Centres (IDRCs) > Walker Institute
Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > NCAS
Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:106429
Publisher:American Meteorological Society

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