2020 Volume 98 Issue 2 Pages 379-393
The tropical cyclone (TC) center position is often needed in the study of inner-core processes although there is currently no consensus on the definition of the TC center. While previous studies evaluated center-detecting methods in terms of the center position, vertical tilt and decomposed symmetric, and asymmetric circulations, this study used the 1-km resolution output of the predicted Hurricane Wilma (2005) at 5-minute intervals to evaluate the four TC centers that are frequently used in the diagnostic analysis of the inner-core dynamics processes: the pressure centroid center (PCC), the potential vorticity (PV) centroid center (PVC), the maximum tangential wind center (MTC), and the minimum pressure variance center (MVC) by focusing on the evolution of the small-scale track oscillation and vortex tilt.
The differences in the detected center position and vertical tilt are generally small during the course of rapid intensification and eyewall replacement. All four methods lead to similar small-scale track oscillations that rotate cyclonically around the mean track. While the MVC and PVC lead to a relatively smooth rotation, abrupt changes exist in the track oscillation of the MTC; the track oscillation of the PCC contains amplified embedded rotations that are associated with the PV mixing in the eye region. The tracks of the MVC and PVC relative to the lower-level center (vertical tilt) are generally smooth, while the relative tracks of the MTC and PCC contain abrupt changes. The MVC also leads to the strongest symmetric structure in the tangential wind, PV, and radial PV gradient in the eyewall region. This study suggests that the MVC should be selected in the study of inner-core processes.