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Seminar: The Multiscale Nature and Moisture Dependency of Tropical Cyclone Formation

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  • Atlantic Building, and Online
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A major hindrance to progress on the topic of tropical cyclone genesis is our limited understanding of interactions between mesoscale processes and the TC seedling and how these interactions are in large part driven by water vapor. In this talk, I’ll assess the multi-scale and moisture-dependent nature of African easterly wave (AEW) tropical cyclogenesis (TCG) using observations and in both parameterized and convection-permitting simulations. First, I will go over past work that motivated my current research on the phasing and relative propagation between AEW and MCSs and how it affects the likelihood of TCG. Then, I will discuss the key large-scale monsoonal features over Africa that relate to TCG in the Atlantic. In the second part of the talk, I will focus on the pre-Helene (2006) TCG case using Model for Prediction across Scales–Atmosphere (MPAS-A) simulations. I will show that MPAS-A is capable of reproducing the growth of the case and that its TCG was driven by moisture and convection co-located with the wave vortex, characteristic of moisture modes. Finally, I will present my most recent research on TC genesis moisture sensitivity, using convection-permitting simulations. The lack of moisture is detrimental to the simulated pre-Helene; however, a moister environment does not necessarily result in a more intense wave or tropical cyclogenesis event. Concluding remarks will include the broader impacts of this work in the prediction of TCG and discussing my future research directions.


Atlantic Building

In-person at Atlantic Building room 2400. For a Zoom link please contact


Department of Atmospheric & Oceanic Science

For disability accommodations, please contact Walter Tribett at

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