Study relating low-level wind flowing into the centers of tropical cyclones and intensification published in the Journal of Geophysical Research

This study uses the observations from Hurricane Hunter aircraft to investigate the inflow of warm, moist air into the tropical cyclone (TC) center that fuels the circulation.  Specifically, the inflow angle is the difference between the wind direction and the direction of a circular wind that does not flow into the center.  The study found minor differences in inflow angle with distance from the TC center, and more significant differences in inflow angle around the TC.  It also found that these differences are smallest when the TC is intensifying fastest, and when the wind around the TC varies little. Incorporating this knowledge into computer forecast models is important to improve forecasts of TC intensity and storm surge.

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Jun Zhang acknowledges support from the U.S. Office of Naval Research Grant N00014-20-1-2071 and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Grants NA21OAR4590370 and unNA19OAR0220186.