Examination of surface wind asymmetry in tropical cyclones over the Northwest Pacific Ocean using SMAP observations

Ziyao Sun, Biao Zhang, Jun A. Zhang, William Perrie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Tropical cyclone (TC) surface wind asymmetry is investigated by using wind data acquired from an L-band passive microwave radiometer onboard the NASA Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite between 2015 and 2017 over the Northwest Pacific (NWP) Ocean. The azimuthal asymmetry degree is defined as the factor by which the maximum surface wind speed is greater than the mean wind speed at the radius of the maximum wind (RMW). We examined storm motion and environmental wind shear effects on the degree of TC surface wind asymmetry under different intensity conditions. Results show that the surface wind asymmetry degree significantly decreases with increasing TC intensity, but increases with increasing TC translation speed, for tropical storm and super typhoon strength TCs; whereas no such relationship is found for typhoon and severe typhoon strength TCs. However, the degree of surface wind asymmetry increases with increasing wind shear magnitude for all TC intensity categories. The relative strength between the storm translation speed and the wind shear magnitude has the potential to affect the location of the maximum wind speed. Moreover, the maximum degree of wind asymmetry is found when the direction of the TC motion is nearly equal to the direction of the wind shear.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2604
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019


  • Storm movement
  • Surface wind asymmetry
  • Tropical cyclone
  • Wind shear

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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