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Impact of sea surface temperature in modulating movement and intensity of tropical cyclones

M. Mandal, U. Mohanty (), P. Sinha and Majid Ali ()

Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, 2007, vol. 41, issue 3, 413-427

Abstract: It is well recognized that sea surface temperature (SST) plays a dominant role in the formation and intensification of tropical cyclones. A number of observational/empirical studies were conducted at different basins to investigate the influence of SST on the intensification of tropical cyclones and in turn, modification in SST by the cyclone itself. Although a few modeling studies confirmed the sensitivity of model simulation/forecast to SST, it is not well quantified, particularly for Bay of Bengal cyclones. The present study is designed to quantify the sensitivity of SST on mesoscale simulation of an explosively deepening storm over the Bay of Bengal, i.e., Orissa super cyclone (1999). Three numerical experiments are conducted with climatological SST, NCEP (National Center for Environmental Prediction) skin temperature as SST, and observed SST (satellite derived) toward 5-day simulation of the storm using mesoscale model MM5. At model initial state, NCEP skin temperature and observed SST over the Bay of Bengal are 1–2°C warmer than climatological SST, but cooler by nearly 1°C along the coastline. Observed SST shows a number of warm patches in the Bay of Bengal compared with NCEP skin temperature. The simulation results indicate that the sea surface temperature has a significant impact on model-simulated track and intensity of the cyclonic storm. The track and intensity of the storm is better simulated with the use of satellite-observed SST. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007

Keywords: Sea surface temperature (SST); Tropical cyclone; Intensity; Track; Heat flux (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2007
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DOI: 10.1007/s11069-006-9051-8

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