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Satellite-based Convective Storm & Convective Initiation Studies

Upper Tropospheric Tropical Cyclone Diagnostics

The research effort is based on the hypothesis that weak upper-tropospheric inertial stability is important for helping determine the intensity of convective systems. Convection should grow most readily into regions of lowest inertial (or symmetric) stability (e.g., Emanuel 1979). Several diagnostic products are constructed, and correlated with aspects of tropical storms.

Main Results
For this research project, coupled satellite-model derived products are available in real-time. These products combine geostationary satellite data and derived cloud motion and water vapor wind vectors, upper tropospheric potential vorticity, and quantities that diagnose the lateral outflow potential from the anvils of deep convection. Isentropic levels between 340 and 380 K are analyzed using products designed for the purpose of evaluating the correlations between cloud motion-derived winds, low inertial stability and intensity changes of tropical convection and tropical cyclones. The products will be used to address new research ideas concerning upper tropospheric inertial stability, outflow from convection, and the degree that this enhances tropical storm genesis and intensification. They will also be combined with field campaign and research datasets to achieve the same goal. These products are being produced routinely at the University of Wisconsin Madison, CIMSS (Chris Velden), in support of various field experiments.