Mississippi State University
Date of Degree
Graduate Thesis - Open Access
Department of Geosciences
Decades of research have fostered a greater understanding of the environmental controls that drive tropical cyclone (TC) intensity change, yet the community has achieved only small improvements in intensity forecasting. Numerous environmental factors impact TC intensity, such as vertical wind shear and sea surface temperatures (SSTs), but little research has focused on establishing if SST change under the TC, or SST gradients, influence these intensity changes. This study investigated three methods to compute SST gradients. The first method calculated the SST change within fixed distances along the track. In the second and third methods, the SST was calculated over the distance traversed by the TC in two separate six-hour periods. By examining 455 24-hour weakening episodes in the eastern North Pacific, this study revealed that the first SST gradient method explained the highest 24-hour weakening variance for TCs located within SSTs at or lower than 26.5 degrees C.
Holliday, Brian Matthew, "How sea surface temperature gradients contribute to tropical cyclone weakening in the eastern north Pacific" (2019). Theses and Dissertations. 2508.