Colorado State University


C. Chelsea Nam current and past research

Check C. Chelsea Nam's Publication List

How the wave pouch and vertical wind shear interactions play important roles in cyclongenesis in multi-scales?


Group Members: C. Chelsea Nam , Michael Bell

Tropical cyclogenesis of pre-depression Hagupit was delayed while it interacted with upper-level trough, experiencing strong VWS. For the downscale cascade from the synoptic to meso-alpha scale, our analysis showed that pre-depression Hagupit was significantly affected by the strong northwesterly vertical wind shear. However, Hagupit survived through the hostile, strongly sheared environment, and eventually developed into a tropical cyclone after it escaped from the influence of upper-level trough. The upscale cascade from the persistent deep convection and its vorticity amplification through vortex tube stretching was a key process that enabled the pouch to persist even under 20 m/s VWS. We highlight the roles of localized low-level shear and cumulus congestus clouds inside the wave pouch as the localized vertical vorticity generated from the convective cells is aggregated through a vortex merger process inside the marsupial pouch.

What separates developing and nondeveloping disturbances?


Group Members: C. Chelsea Nam , Dandan Tao , Michael M. Bell

To be, or not to be, that is the question of tropical cyclogenesis. Only about 15-20 % of African Easterly Waves develop into tropical cyclones (TCs). A WRF ensemble was created with multiple TC simulations spanning the relevant parameter space for three variables; 1) the VWS magnitude, 2) the environmental humidity, and 3) the initial vortex intensity. Unmeasurable random perturbations result in widely diverging scenarios in TC genesis in moderately sheared and dry environments. Here we hypothesize that the combination of moderate shear and dry air makes an unstable condition for a vortex to intensify or decay, which implifies that TC genesis in such environments may be intrinsically unpredictable in deterministic sense. We are currently looking at the link between the deep convection and the realignment of mid-level and low-level vortices comparing the developing and non-developing ensemble members.

On the contributions of incipient vortex circulation and environmental moisture to tropical cyclone expansion


Group Members: Jonathan Martinez , C. Chelsea Nam , Michael M. Bell

Idealized numerical simulations of tropical cyclones are created to investigate the relative contributions of incipient vortex circulation and environmental moisture to tropical cyclone expansion. The principal findings demonstrate that an initially large vortex can expand more quickly than its relatively smaller counterpart. Increasing the environmental moisture further promotes expansion but mostly expedites the intensification process. Differences in the amount and scale of outer-core convection are associated with varying the incipient vortex circulation, resulting in variable expansion rates. Note: This project was also funded by the National Science Foundation Bridge to the Doctorate Fellowship Award 004863-00003.

How do the precursor waves develop prior to Tropical Cyclogenesis?


Group Members: C. Chelsea Nam , Michael M. Bell

PISTON 2018 saw enhanced seasonal vorticity anomaly over western North Pacific that supports easterly wave propagation. Invest98 was an interesting cast that the disturbance was intensifying after spinning up from Super Typhoon Jebi's rainband. Invest98 produced more than 200mm rain over our shipborne Sea-Pol radar. Convective systems ranging from isolated to linearly organized MCS. With this case study, we aim to learn more about the multi-scale TC genesis problem, bridging the gap between large-scale wave mode and meso-scale convection.