On the use of two-dimensional incompressible flow to study secondary eyewall formation in tropical cyclones

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Previous studies have offered hypotheses for the mechanisms that lead to secondary eyewall formation in tropical cyclones by using two-dimensional incompressible flow. Those studies represented the convection-induced vorticity field as either large but weak vortices that are the same sign as the tropical cyclone core or as purely asymmetric vorticity perturbations that are an order of magnitude weaker than the core. However, both observations and full-physics simulations of tropical cyclones indicate that the convection-induced vorticity fieldshould also include clusters of small vorticity dipoles whose magnitude is comparable to that of the high-vorticity core. Results of numerical simulations indicate that the interaction between the tropical cyclone core vortex and the convection-induced small vorticity dipoles of considerable strength in two-dimensional flow does not lead to coherent concentric vorticity ring formation. The axisymmetrization process under the simplification of two-dimensional incompressible flow appears to be incomplete for describing secondary eyewall formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3765-3773
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the Atmospheric Sciences
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010



  • Hurricanes
  • Numerical analysis/modeling
  • Tropical cyclones
  • Vorticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science

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