Two graphs showing the distributions of lifetime size and lifetime maximum integral intensity kinetic energy.
The distributions of lifetime size (LMS (a)) and lifetime maximum integral intensity kinetic energy (LMIKE (b)) are shown as grey histograms for all North Atlantic tropical cyclones (TCs). The probability density function (PDF) calculated using a kernel smoothing is also shown in black. (a) The 90th (orange) and 95th (green) percentiles of the PDFs of TCs that undergo (continuous lines) and do not undergo (dashed lines) Rapid Growth (RG) are also shown. (b) The 90th percentile of RG TCs (orange) and TCs that undergo rapid intensification (purple) are displayed. Credit: Li et al. [2022], Figure 2
Editors’ Highlights are summaries of recent papers by AGU’s journal editors.
Source: Geophysical Research Letters

The potential destruction caused by the winds of tropical cyclones (TCs) depends on both intensity and size. Li et al. [2022] introduce a new concept of “Rapid Growth” (RG) to identify instances when the outer size or gale-force wind of a tropical cyclone grows more than 75 kilometers in radius in 24 hours.

This definition was based on North Atlantic hurricane observations and corresponds to the 90th percentile of the distribution, considering only data from storms that are far from land and in the tropics. The authors also identified a clear life-cycle for the size growth of rapid growth storms, which is not present for non-rapid growth tropical cyclones. Rapid growth is associated with tropical cyclones with stronger radial inflow, lower mid-level humidity, and higher baroclinic stability than non-rapid growth tropical cyclones. Rapid growth has an important role in changing the potential of destruction of tropical cyclones.

Citation: Li, Y., Tang, Y., & Wang, S. (2022). Rapid growth of outer size of tropical cyclones: A new perspective on their destructive potential. Geophysical Research Letters, 49, e2022GL099230.  

—Suzana Camargo, Editor, Geophysical Research Letters

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