Sensitivity of Simulated Hurricane Eyewall Replacement Cycles to Horizontal Turbulent Mixing
Kennell, Joanne Michelle
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Eyewall replacement cycles (ERCs) are naturally occurring phenomena in some intense tropical cyclones. The exact mechanisms of ERCs are currently not known and successful numerical simulations of ERCs are also rare. The objectives of this thesis are to 1) validate the current ERC theories for a set of numerical simulations which resolved ERC processes, 2) investigate the role of boundary layer turbulence in ERCs, and 3) propose a mechanism for ERCs. Using the Advanced Research and Weather Forecasting (WRF-ARW) model, Hurricane Danielle (2010) was simulated. The ERCs that occurred in simulated Danielle are sensitive to parameterized horizontal turbulent mixing. Five theories on the initiating mechanisms of eyewall replace cycles are discussed with respect to each of our simulations and based on the results, a new idea of how the eyewall replacement process formed in our simulations is proposed. Two sensitivity experiments are performed to test the validity of this mechanism.