Journal of the Meteorological Society of Japan. Ser. II
Online ISSN : 2186-9057
Print ISSN : 0026-1165
ISSN-L : 0026-1165
Sensitivity of Numerical Simulations of Hurricane Joaquin (2015) to Cumulus Parameterization Schemes: Implications for Processes Controlling a Hairpin Turn in the Track
Peter SAUNDERSYafan YUZhaoxia PU
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JOURNALS FREE ACCESS Advance online publication

Article ID: 2019-030


 Hurricane Joaquin, a notable hurricane over the Atlantic Ocean in 2015, is studied with emphasis on its unique hairpin turn that occurred between 2100 UTC 1 October and 0600 UTC 2 October 2015. A series of mesoscale high-resolution numerical simulations is performed with an advanced research version of the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. The sensitivity of numerical simulations to different cumulus, boundary layer, and microphysical parameterization schemes is examined to investigate the most relevant processes influencing the track evolution of Hurricane Joaquin. It is found that the numerical simulation of Hurricane Joaquin’s track is highly sensitive to the choice of cumulus scheme. Large-scale environmental conditions and hurricane inner-core structures are diagnosed. Results indicate that middle- to upper-level steering flows are crucial in influencing Joaquin’s track. Further investigation of the large-scale environment (e.g., middle- and upper-level trough, blocking high, thermal distribution, etc.) shows that middle-level blocking high plays an important role in Joaquin’s movement. The structure of the hurricane core region, including the vertical extent of diabatic heating, vertical velocity, and relative humidity, could also play an important role. Specifically, the asymmetry and local absolute vorticity tendency over the inner-core region and its vicinity has a strong implication for Joaquin’s hairpin turn.

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© The Author(s) 2019. This is an open access article published by the Meteorological Society of Japan under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license.