Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

URI oceanographer studies the effects of inland water on the intensity of landfalling hurricanes

26.09.2002


One of the known facts about landfalling hurricanes is their rapid decay, yet some of them retain tropical storm winds and gusts well inland. While studies have shown that the reduction in surface evaporation is a reason for hurricane decay during landfall, little is known about the effect of land surface water on the intensity of hurricanes.



In a recent issue of the Journal of Atmospheric Sciences, URI Graduate School of Oceanography (GSO) physical oceanographer Isaac Ginis, Weixing Shen, formerly with GSO and now at NOAA’s National Center for Environmental Prediction, and Robert E. Tuleya of NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) in Princeton, New Jersey, studied the effect of land surface water on hurricane intensity. The team found that under some conditions, the presence of less than two feet of water could noticeably reduce landfall decay.

Previous studies of land-falling hurricanes used fixed underlying surface conditions. The current study, using the GFDL hurricane model, investigated the effects of land surface water on land-falling hurricanes, including surface temperature changes and their influence on changes in surface heat, hurricane structure, and intensity. The team of scientists used a range of water depths and surface roughness conditions to correspond to a possible array of surface conditions.


Funded by the National Science Foundation, the study showed that during hurricane landfall over a water-covered land, large local surface cooling occurs near the hurricane core region. This surface cooling causes a reduction in evaporation, the primary energy source for hurricanes, thus considerably reducing hurricane intensity during landfall. The reduction depends on the presence and depth of surface water. With a two-foot layer of surface water, the hurricane will maintain its intensity, but collapse over dry land.

An increase in surface roughness significantly reduces the surface winds but only yields a small increase in the central pressure because while surface roughness increases surface drag, it also increases surface evaporation which fuels a hurricane’s intensity.

When a hurricane travels over land, the amount of surface evaporation is considerably less than when it travels over water. However, the scientists found that this condition does not produce any large changes in the size of the eye of the storm, even when hurricane intensity is significantly reduced.

Ginis, along with GSO physical oceanographer Lewis Rothstein, developed a computer model to predict the intensity of hurricanes. The GSO model was coupled with a hurricane model created by National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Geophysical Fluid Dynamic Laboratory (GFDL) to provide a more efficient set of predictors that take into consideration the effects of atmosphere-ocean interaction during storms and more accurate predictions of storm intensity. In 2000, the coupled model became an official component of the national hurricane prediction system used to forecast Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico tropical storms and hurricanes.

The URI Graduate School of Oceanography is one of the country’s largest marine science education programs, and one of the world’s foremost marine research institutions. Founded in 1961 in Narragansett, RI, GSO serves a community of scientists who are researching the causes of and solutions to such problems as acid rain, harmful algal blooms, global warming, air and water pollution, oil spills, overfishing, and coastal erosion. GSO is home to the Coastal Institute, the Coastal Resources Center, Rhode Island Sea Grant, the Institute for Archaeolocial Oceanography, and the National Sea Grant Library.


Media Contact: Lisa Cugini, (401) 874-6642, lcugini@gso.uri.edu
Isaac Ginis, (401) 874-6484, iginis@gso.uri.edu

Lisa Cugini | EurekAlert!

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>