Horizontal transition of turbulent cascade in the near-surface layer of tropical cyclones

Jie Tang, David Byrne, Jun A. Zhang, Yuan Wang, Xiao Tu Lei, Dan Wu, Ping Zhi Fang, Bing Ke Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Tropical cyclones (TC) consist of a large range of interacting scales from hundreds of kilometers to a few meters. The energy transportation among these different scales-that is, from smaller to larger scales (upscale) or vice versa (downscale)-may have profound impacts on TC energy dynamics as a result of the associated changes in available energy sources and sinks. From multilayer tower measurements in the low-level (<120 m) boundary layer of several landing TCs, the authors found there are two distinct regions where the energy flux changes from upscale to downscale as a function of distance to the storm center. The boundary between these two regions is approximately 1.5 times the radius of maximum wind. Two-dimensional turbulence (upscale cascade) occurs more typically at regions close to the inner-core region of TCs, while 3D turbulence (downscale cascade) mostly occurs at the outer-core region in the surface layer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4915-4925
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the Atmospheric Sciences
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015


  • Atm/Ocean Structure/ Phenomena
  • Boundary layer
  • Circulation/ Dynamics
  • In situ atmospheric observations
  • In situ oceanic observations
  • Nonlinear dynamics
  • Observational techniques and algorithms
  • Tropical cyclones
  • Turbulence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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