In this talk I will summarize some recent and current research on tropical cyclones in my Group at the University of Munich. This research seeks to better understand certain fundamental aspects of tropical-cyclone dynamics. Time permitting I will touch on four topics:
(1) The concept of buoyancy in rapidly-rotating vortices and the
distinction between the local buoyancy of cloud updrafts and the system buoyancy of the vortex itself;
(2) The evolution of the outer circulation of a tropical cyclone and the
factors that might influence this;
(3) The role of the boundary layer in tropical cyclones and a minimal
model for this layer; and
(4) The predictability of inner-core asymmetries and its implications for
many previous studies of tropical-cyclone asymmetries.
Topics (3) and (4) are collaborative projects with graduate students Steffi Vogl and Sang Nguyen, both of whom plan to show posters with details of their work at the Workshop. Topic (1) involved collaboration with Michael Montgomery at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey and Hongyan Zhu at the Bureau of Meteorology Research Centre in Melbourne, Australia. Topic (2) is a collaborative effort with Hongyan Zhu and involved significant contributions from my late colleague, Wolfgang Ulrich. Topic (4) involves collaboration also with Michael Montgomery.