Evaluating the Impacts of Eastern North Pacific Tropical Cyclones on North America Utilizing Remotely Sensed and Reanalysis Data
eastern North Pacific
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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EmbargoRelease after 20-Jan-2013
AbstractThe eastern North Pacific Ocean has the highest density of tropical cyclone genesis events of any tropical basin in the world, and many of these systems form near land before moving westward. However, despite the level of tropical cyclone activity in this basin, and the proximity of the main genesis region to land, tropical cyclone behavior in the eastern North Pacific has been relatively unexplored. When synoptic conditions are favorable, moisture from northward-moving tropical cyclones can be advected into northern Mexico and the southwestern United States, often leading to the development of summertime thunderstorms during the North American monsoon season. An interaction with a mid-latitude trough produces the most rainfall, and the spatial variability of precipitation is greatly affected by the complex topography of the region. Moisture can be advected from a tropical cyclone around the subtropical ridge in place for much of the eastern North Pacific hurricane season and contribute to precipitation. This ridge, when it extends westward over the Pacific Ocean, can also prevent tropical cyclone moisture from impacting the southwestern United States. Northward-moving tropical cyclones often enter an environment with decreasing sea surface temperatures, increasing vertical wind shear, and meridional air temperature and moisture gradients. These key ingredients for extratropical transition are generally present in the eastern North Pacific, but the subtropical ridge prevents many named systems from moving northward, and only 9% of eastern North Pacific tropical cyclones from 1970 to 2011 complete ET according to cyclone phase space. However, over half of the systems that do not complete ET dissipate as cold core cyclones, a structural change that has yet to be explored in other tropical basins. It is difficult to estimate tropical cyclone intensity in a vast ocean area with few direct measurements available. The deviation angle variance technique, an objective method independent of the current techniques widely used today, was successfully applied to seven years of eastern North Pacific tropical cyclones. The RMS error of 13.5 kt for all seven years is comparable to the RMS errors found for other basins.
Degree ProgramGraduate College