Effect of boundary layer roll vortices on the development of an axisymmetric tropical cyclone

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In this study, the authors numerically investigate the response of an axisymmetric tropical cyclone (TC) vortex to the vertical fluxes of momentum, heat, and moisture induced by roll vortices (rolls) in the boundary layer. To represent the vertical fluxes induced by rolls, a two-dimensional high-resolution Single- Grid Roll-Resolving Model (SRM) is embedded at multiple horizontal grid points in the mesoscale COAMPS for Tropical Cyclones (COAMPS-TC) model domain. Idealized experiments are conducted with the SRM embedded within 3 times the radius of maximum wind of an axisymmetric TC. The results indicate that the rolls induce changes in the boundary layer wind distribution and cause a moderate (approximately 15%) increase in the TC intensification rate by increasing the boundary layer convergence in the eyewall region and inducemore active eyewall convection. The numerical experiments also suggest that the roll-induced tangential momentum flux is most important in contributing to the TC intensification process, and the rolls generated at different radii (within the range considered in this study) all have positive contributions. The results are not qualitatively impacted by the initial TC vortex or the setup of the vertical diffusivity in COAMPS-TC.

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Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences