Control parameters for the influence of a mesoscale mountain range on cyclone track continuity and deflection

Yuh Lang Lin, Shu Yun Chen, Christopher M. Hill, Ching Yuang Huang

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In this study prospective control parameters are identified for diagnosing the continuity and deflection of cyclone tracks across a mesoscale mountain range. Based on idealized simulations of a westward-moving cyclone, it was found that the cyclone track becomes a discontinuous (continuous) track and the cyclone experiences more (less) deflection with a combination of small (large) values of Vmax /Nh, U/ Nh, R/Ly, U/fLx, and Vmax/fR, and large (small) value of h/Lx. The symbols are defined as follows: Vmax the maximum tangential wind, N the Brunt-Väisälä frequency, h the mountain height, U the basic wind speed, R the radius of Vmax, f the Coriolis parameter, and Lx and Ly the horizontal scales of the mountain in x and y directions, respectively. A conceptual model is proposed to explain track deflectio n and continuity for a westward-moving cyclone encountering idealized topography representative of the Central Mountain Range of Taiwan. With weak orographic blocking, a cyclone crosses over the mountain range with some northward deflection. With moderate orographic blocking, northward deflection of a cyclone is greater upstream of the mountain range and a secondary, leeside vortex forms to the southwest of the mountain range, indicative of discontinuity in the cyclone track. With strong orographic blocking, a westward-moving cyclone is deflected southward and a secondary cyclone forms to the northwest of the mountain range. The northward or southward deflection of a cyclone track is explained by the orographic blocking on the outer circulation of the cyclone.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1849-1866
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of the Atmospheric Sciences
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2005


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