A Case Study of hurricane Sandy - According to ERA-Interim

Detta är en Kandidat-uppsats från Lunds universitet/Fysiska institutionen

Författare: Marie Staerk; [2013]

Nyckelord: Earth and Environmental Sciences;

Sammanfattning: In late October 2012 hurricane Sandy caused a lot of damage to the islands in the Caribbean Sea and later on (as an extratropical cyclone) to the United States; New Jersey. The system was different in many ways relative to “normal” hurricanes, e.g. its track, its lack of eye at times it was classified as a hurricane and its great size which all partly was due to the prevailing circulations in the upper troposphere at the time being. It was the interaction with an upper level trough that made Sandy to reintensify before she made landfall in New Jersey which resulted in a severe storm surge. Sandy got a lot of attention in media, which started to refer her as the “Frankenstorm”, a very suitable nickname. In this thesis it is investigated when Sandy experienced mostly baroclinic or barotropic features with the help of the reanalysis system ERA-Interim. Whether a weather system experiences baroclinic or barotropic features depends on the surrounding environment. This interaction between Sandy and her surroundings is treated in the Case Study which also covers why Sandy obtained the track that she did and why she did not experience an eye at certain times. To be able to see how well the reanalysis performed on Sandy a comparison of i.e. mean sea level pressure (MSLP) and maximum sustained winds is made between the obtained values from ERA-Interim and the best estimates of Sandy presented by the National Hurricane Center(NHC). The values differ to quite a great extent (where the values from ERA-Interim underperform) and the reasons for that are mostly due to the coarse resolution of the reanalysis but also due to that ERA-Interim does not make use of all available observations from satellites. However, the overall tendencies of Sandy’s track and MSLP were captured by ERA-Interim.

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