Summary: Hurricane Edouard (2014) is examined using radar onboard NOAA P-3 aircraft that flew the storm. Two periods are shown, one when the storm was intensifying to a major hurricane and the other when the storm was weakening. The location of strong thunderstorms, and how they changed over time, is examined to see if there is a difference over time and to determine what caused those differences.
Important Conclusions: (two – three)
- Strong thunderstorms that extend above 50,000 ft altitude are seen when Edouard was intensifying; when Edouard was weakening, no such thunderstorms are seen.
- When Edouard is intensifying, thunderstorms cover a large area and are located close to and inside where the strongest winds exist.
- More thunderstorms occur when the wind in the lowest few thousand feet flowing toward the central low pressure reaches past the eyewall where the strongest winds exist. Because this air flows inward from all directions, it must rise in the eyewall, and thunderstorms develop. These strength and longevity of these thunderstorms depends on the warmth of the ocean below the storm and the moisture in the air around it.
You can access Part I at http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/MWR-D-16-0018.1 and Part II at http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/full/10.1175/MWR-D-16-0017.1.