Impact of the diurnal radiation cycle on secondary eyewall formation

Xiaodong Tang, Zhe Min Tan, Juan Fang, Y. Qiang Sun, Fuqing Zhang

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22 Scopus citations


The sensitivity of the secondary eyewall formation (SEF) of Hurricane Edouard (2014) to the diurnal solar insolation cycle is examined with convection-permitting simulations. A control run with a real diurnal radiation cycle and a sensitivity experiment without solar insolation are conducted. In the control run, there is an area of relatively weak convection between the outer rainbands and the primary eyewall, that is, a moat region. This area is highly sensitive to solar shortwave radiative heating, mostly in the mid- to upper levels in the daytime, which leads to a net stabilization effect and suppresses convective development. Moreover, the heated surface air weakens the wind-induced surface heat exchange (WISHE) feedback between the surface fluxes (that promote convection) and convective heating (that feeds into the secondary circulation and then the tangential wind). Consequently, a typical SEF with a clear moat follows. In the sensitivity experiment, in contrast, net radiative cooling leads to persistent active inner rainbands between the primary eyewall and outer rainbands, and these, along with the absence of the rapid filamentation zone, are detrimental to moat formation and thus to SEF. Sawyer-Eliassen diagnoses further suggest that the radiation-induced difference in diabatic heating is more important than the vortex wind structure for moat formation and SEF. These results suggest that the SEF is highly sensitive to solar insolation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3079-3098
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of the Atmospheric Sciences
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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