The early stages of a tropical cyclone can be a challenge to forecast, as a storm consolidates and begins to grow based on the local and environmental conditions. A high-resolution ensemble of the Hurricane Analysis and Forecast System (HAFS) is used to study the early intensification of Hurricane Dorian, a catastrophic 2019 storm in which the early period proved challenging for forecasters. There was a clear connection in the ensemble between early storm track and intensity: stronger members moved more northeast initially, although this result did not have much impact on the long-term track. The ensemble results show several key factors determining the early evolution of Dorian. Large-scale divergence northeast of the tropical cyclone (TC) appeared to favor intensification, and this structure was present at model initialization. There was also greater moisture northeast of the TC for stronger members at initialization, favoring more intensification and downshear development of the circulation as these members evolved. This study highlights the complex interplay between synoptic and storm scale processes in the development and intensification of early-stage tropical cyclones.
- Tropical cyclone
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Science (miscellaneous)