Research radar analyses of the internal boundary layer over Cape Canaveral, Florida, during the landfall of Hurricane Frances (2004)

Brian D. Hirth, John L. Schroeder, Christopher C. Weiss, Douglas A. Smith, Michael I. Biggerstaff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

The structure of the coastal internal boundary layer (IBL) during a landfalling hurricane has important ramifications on operational forecasting, structural design, and poststorm damage assessment. Despite these important issues, the mean IBL structure at the coastline during landfall is poorly understood. Knowledge of the vertical kinematic structure within tropical cyclones over water has improved greatly through aircraft reconnaissance missions and the advent of GPS dropsondes and stepped frequency microwave radiometers. Unfortunately, reconnaissance and research aircraft are limited to overwater missions, resulting in a poor understanding of vertical kinematic structure near the coastal interface, where changes in IBL structure are expected due to changes in surface roughness. Composite single- and dual-Doppler radar observations collected by the Shared Mobile Atmospheric Research and Teaching Radars during the landfall of Hurricane Frances (2004) are presented. Data analyses from the Cape Canaveral, Florida, region reveal a pronounced IBL throughout the data collection period. As a result, significant variability in the analyzed wind speed and direction are found across and near the coastal interface. IBL height is found to be suppressed when compared to an accepted empirical growth model, while multiple abrupt roughness transitions associated with the Cape Canaveral region contribute to a complex mean IBL structure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1349-1372
Number of pages24
JournalWeather and Forecasting
Volume27
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2012

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