Dynamics and Physics Research

The Dynamics and Physics Theme involves research aimed at improving our understanding of tropical cyclones through the application of fundamental physical principles of air motion, moist thermodynamics, and radiation. Researchers use a combination of theory, aircraft observations, analysis, and numerical modeling to better understand how phenomena from the microscale to the environmental scale contribute to motion, structure and intensity changes. Researchers work closely with scientists in the other themes to improve the tools available and to apply new understanding in a way that benefits prediction.

Research topics include:

  • Tropical cyclone intensity change: convective and mesoscale processes and intensity change, with an emphasis on rapid intensification
  • Tropical cyclones in vertical shear: impact of vertical wind shear on structure and intensity; vortex resilience theory
  • Tropical cyclogenesis: role of mesoscale and convective-scale processes in genesis
  • Extratropical transition: processes by which tropical cyclones transition to intense extratropical cyclones at high latitudes
  • Tropical transition: processes by which non-tropical disturbances transition into tropical cyclones
  • Meso- and miso-scale features: eyewall mesocyclones and extreme features in the eyewall and ultimate impacts on intensity and intensity change
  • Microphysics: Obtain number and mass concentrations of particles from 0.6 μm – 6 mm diameter in the hurricane to comprehend the energetics of the storm.
  • Turbulence: in-situ and remote observations of turbulent fluxes, turbulent kinetic energy, and turbulent transport processes including vertical and horizontal mixing and entrainment in tropical cyclones
  • Air-sea interactions: Quantifying the role of the upper ocean in modulating surface fluxes of heat and moisture in hurricanes


4 thoughts on “Dynamics and Physics Research

  1. I have an idea to cool the sea with small cyclone triggered atficially. The power required to generate a moderate cyclone might be inde range of 3-5 MW.


  2. Thanks for your question. I appreciate your interest in saving lives and protecting property from hurricanes. We receive similar emails all the time and often these ideas focus on one aspect of a very complicated problem. We addressed a number of the common ones at http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/tcfaq/tcfaqC.html.

    Because the problem in so complex and our understanding is not complete enough to provide attribution for any modification approach it would be irresponsible to pursue any such approach making the government liable. NOAA continues to conduct research on hurricanes and uses that information to help protect people and property by improving forecast guidance.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Until we have a good understanding of the factors leading to rapid intensification, we should not attempt to conduct modification.


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