32_hurricanes-1 - Hurricanes GS222D.Lund Lecture32...

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Hurricanes GS222 – D. Lund Lecture 32
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Overview - this lecture 1) High and low pressure systems 2) Hurricane ingredients and classification 3) Katrina 4) Role of sea surface temperature
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High and low pressure systems In N. Hemisphere, winds circulate in counter- clockwise (cyclonic) direction around low pressure  systems In N. Hemisphere, winds circulate in clockwise  (anticyclonic) direction around high pressure  systems Draw pictures of low and high pressure systems. Flow is quasi-geostrophic, i.e. coriolis force is  approximately balanced by pressure gradient  force
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High pressure system, N. Hemisphere Wind speed can be estimated directly from  pressure gradient.
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Low pressure system, N. Hemisphere Very low barometric pressure means  intense pressure gradients and stormy  conditions.  Look out for lows.
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Hurricane basics An extra-special type of low pressure system Air drawn in by low pressure is warmed by sea  surface, gains moisture and tends to rise. Winds rise before they reach center or ‘eye’ of  storm Eye forms when low is intense enough to pull in  warm dry air from above
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Anatomy of a hurricane Eye is typically 20-25 km wide with light winds and few clouds Wall of clouds around eye caused by intense atmospheric  convection
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Hurricane wind speed and  pressure
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32_hurricanes-1 - Hurricanes GS222D.Lund Lecture32...

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