Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Wood, Kimberly M.

Committee Member

Mercer, Andrew E.

Committee Member

Dyer, Jamie L.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Professional Meteorology

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Geosciences


An analysis to determine physical and spatial patterns of the surface latent heat flux (LHF) and near surface (5m) salinity (NSS) beneath tropical cyclones (TCs) in the North Atlantic and eastern North Pacific basins during the first 24 hours of rapid intensification (RI) was conducted using empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis. To determine if these patterns were unique to RI, TC RI cases were compared to three non-RI intensification thresholds, 10 kt, 15 kt and 20 kt, for both LHF and NSS. Though similarities exist between non-RI and RI cases physical and spatial patterns unique to the RI cases did exist. Sea surface temperatures associated with statistically identified TC groups were assessed for their potential influence on RI. While inconclusive in the eastern North Pacific, NSS in the Atlantic may play a role for RI TCs in areas affected by river discharge from South America.