Graphs from the paper.
Distributions of latent (a) and (b) sensible heat fluxes in W/m2 starting 3 days prior to tropical cyclogenesis (day -3) until 3 days after formation (day +3). The composites are calculated within a region 700 kilometers from the vortex center. The solid lines mark different percentiles of the distributions (5, 10, 50, 90, 95, 99) as well as the mean (dark blue). Credit: Aiyyer and Schreck [2023], Figure 3
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Source: Geophysical Research Letters

This the first time the surface winds and enthalpy fluxes in African easterly waves that lead to the formation of Atlantic hurricanes are examined in satellite retrievals. Aiyyer and Schreck [2023] analyze 30 cases in the period 2018 to 2021 and made composites starting 3 days prior to hurricane formation. A precursor vortex can be identified in surface winds 3 days prior to genesis. There is an increase of the enthalpy top percentile values following genesis. Furthermore, a clear negative radial gradient starts at least 2 days prior to hurricane formation, which is consistent with recent theoretical and modeling results.

These results provide further understanding and confirmation of the processes present during spin-up of hurricanes during genesis, with a shift on the location of the peak convection towards the center of the vortex and an associated inward increase of the enthalpy fluxes.

Citation: Aiyyer, A., & Schreck, C. (2023). Surface wind speeds and enthalpy fluxes during tropical cyclone formation from easterly waves: A CYGNSS view. Geophysical Research Letters, 50, e2022GL100823.

—Suzana Camargo, Editor, Geophysical Research Letters

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