HRD seminar – Paul Reasor & Altug Aksoy, AOML/HRD – 15 May 2014

Paul and Altug each presented a seminar:

  • “Evaluation of shear-relative hurricane structure from the HWRF model” – Paul Reasor


This talk will present a composite-based analysis of shear-relative hurricane structure from the HWRF model. The model’s representation of shear-relative precipitation and kinematic structure are evaluated using a recently-published composite of such structure diagnosed from airborne Doppler radar. Results stratified by shear magnitude, motion direction and vortex intensity are examined in addition to the total-case composite. Differences between the model and observed shear-induced asymmetries, including the vortex tilt, are interpreted in the light of differences in the typical environmental and symmetric vortex properties of the respective databases. Given the availability of HWRF model output at regular intervals, the talk is concluded with a composite-based examination of the relationship between temporal changes in vortex tilt and changes in hurricane structure and intensity.

A video recording of Reasor’s presentation is available on the anonymous ftp site:

  • “Model Sensitivity in Idealized, Ocean-Coupled Hurricane Simulations: Perturbations of Environment, Structure, and Model Physics Parameters” – Altug Aksoy


Idealized simulations are important tools to investigate in detail the dynamical evolution of a tropical cyclone for various environmental and/or structural characteristics. We present here a systematic sensitivity analysis using an idealized version of the Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting (HWRF) model. The tropical cyclone environment is initialized with the tropical moist sounding of Dunion (2011, J. Climate). The westerly 850-200-hPa vertical wind shear is thermally balanced in the meridional direction. The zonal wind field is adjusted to yield a vertically integrated westward mean flow typical of Tropical Atlantic hurricanes. Lateral boundaries are forced with the same initial environmental profiles as in the computational domain interior to minimize imbalances. Coupling with a one-dimensional column ocean model introduces ocean cooling due to surface wind stress and modifies surface fluxes. The ocean column is initialized with prescribed temperature and salinity profiles that exhibit hurricane-season Tropical Atlantic characteristics with a deep, well-mixed upper ocean. The initial vortex is a wavenumber-0 composite of thousands of hurricane reconnaissance (dropwindsonde and tail Doppler radar) observations and historical height-radius cross-sections of steady-state, category-one Tropical Atlantic hurricanes over water. An analysis of the 5-day control simulation obtained in this manner will be presented first.

Model sensitivity to perturbations in parameters that include magnitude of zonal shear, vertically integrated atmospheric mean flow (storm speed), initial SST, environmental low-level and mid-level moisture and temperature, initial intensity, initial radius of maximum wind (RMW), as well as model parameters that control horizontal diffusion, vertical eddy diffusivity, and exchange coefficients of surface momentum and heat flux is then investigated, especially focusing on the quasi-steady-state regime that is observed in the 48-96 hours of the control simulation. Detailed analyses of parameter-model correlations, simulation spread, and response function will be presented for a systematic evaluation of model sensitivity. Suggestions will be made for calibrating the range of parameter values to improve the signal-to-noise ratio for the possibility of multiple, simultaneously perturbed parameters. Implications for ensemble-based data assimilation will be discussed.

A video recording of Altug’s presentation is available on the anonymous ftp site:

A video recording of the Q&A of both presentations is available on the anonymous ftp site: