On the rapid intensification for Typhoon Meranti (2016): convection, warm core, and heating budget

  • Xiba Tang
  • Fan PingEmail author
  • Shuai Yang
  • Mengxia Li
  • Jing Peng
Research Article


Through a cloud-resolving simulation of the rapid intensification (RI) of Typhoon Meranti (2016), the convections, warm core, and heating budget are investigated during the process of RI. By investigating the spatial distributions and temporal evolutions of both convective-stratiform precipitation and shallow-deep convections, we find that the inner-core convections take mode turns, from stratiform-precipitation (SP) dominance to convective-precipitation (CP) prevalence during the transition stages between pre-RI and RI. For the CP, it experiences fewer convections before RI, and the conversion from moderate/ moderate-deep convections to moderate-deep/deep convections during RI. There is a clear upper-level warm-core structure during the process of RI. However, the mid-low-level warming begins first, before the RI of Meranti. By calculating the local potential temperature (θ) budget of various convections, the link between convections and the warm core (and further to RI via the pressure drop due to the warming core) is established. Also, the transport pathways of heating toward the center of Meranti driven by pressure are illuminated. The total hydrostatic pressure decline is determined by the mid-low-level warm anomaly before RI, mostly caused by SP. The azimuthal-mean diabatic heating is the largest heating source, the mean vertical heat advection controls the vertical downwards transport by adiabatic warming of compensating down-drafts above eye region, and then the radial θ advection term radially transports heat toward the center of Meranti in a slantwise direction. Accompanying the onset of RI, the heating efficiency of the upper-level warming core rises swiftly and overruns that of the mid-low-level warm anomaly, dominating the total pressure decrease and being mainly led by moderate-deep and deep convections. Aside from the characteristics in common with SP, for CP, the eddy component of radial advection also plays a positive role in warming the core, which enhances the centripetal transport effect and accelerates the RI of Meranti.


convection upper-level warm core heating budget Typhoon Meranti tropical cyclone 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.



Very thanks for the valuable comments of the three anonymous reviewers, which helped considerably in improving the original manuscript. This work was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (Grant Nos. 2018YFC1506801 and 2018YFF0300102), the Plateau Atmosphere and Environment Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province (Grant No. PAEKL-2017-K3), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 41405059, 41575064, 41875079, 41875077, 41575093, and 41630532).


  1. Chen H, Zhang D L (2013). On the rapid intensification of Hurricane Wilma (2005). Part II: convective bursts and the upper-level warm core. J Atmos Sci, 70(1): 146–162CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Chen X M, Xue M, Fang J (2018). Rapid intensification of Typhoon Mujigae (2015) under different sea surface temperatures: structural changes leading to rapid intensification. J Atmos Sci, 75(12): 4313–4335CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. CMA (2016). Member Report: China. ESCAP/WMO Typhoon Committee: 9–14Google Scholar
  4. DeMaria M, Sampson C R, Knaff J A, Musgrave K D (2014). Is tropical cyclone intensity guidance improving? Bull Am Meteorol Soc, 95(3): 387–398CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Guimond S R, Heymsfield G M, Turk F J (2010). Multiscale observations of hurricane Dennis (2005): the effects of hot towers on rapid intensification. J Atmos Sci, 67(3): 633–654CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Han B, Fan J, Varble A, Morrison H, Williams C R, Chen B, Dong X, Giangrande S E, Khain A, Mansell E, Milbrandt J A, Shpund J, Thompson G (2019). Cloud-resolving model intercomparison of an MC3E squall line case. Part II: stratiform precipitation properties. J Geophys Res D Atmospheres, 124(2): 1090–1117CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Hendricks D A, Peng M S, Fu B, Li T (2010). Quantifying environmental control on tropical cyclone intensity change. Mon Weather Rev, 138(8): 3243–3271CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Heymsfield G M, Halverson J B, Simpson J, Tian L, Bui T P (2001). ER-2 Doppler radar investigations of the eyewall of Hurricane Bonnie during the convection and moisture Experiment-3. J Appl Meteorol, 40(8): 1310–1330CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hirschberg P A, Fritsch J M (1993). On understanding height tendency. Mon Weather Rev, 121(9): 2646–2661CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Huang Y, Wang Y, Cui X (2019). Differences between convective and dtratiform precipitation budgets in a torrential rainfall event. Adv Atmos Sci, 36(5): 495–509CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Kaplan J, DeMaria M (2003). Large-scale characteristics of rapidly intensifying tropical cyclones in the North Atlantic basin. Weather Forecast, 18(6): 1093–1108CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Li M X, Ping F, Tang X B, Yang S (2019). Effects of microphysical processes on the rapid intensification of Super-Typhoon Meranti. Atmos Res, 219: 77–94CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Li Q Q, Wang Y Q (2012). A comparison of inner and outer spiral rainbands in a numerically simulated tropical cyclone. Mon Weather Rev, 140(9): 2782–2805CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Lin I I, Wu C C, Pun I F, Ko D S (2008). Upper-ocean thermal structure and the western North Pacific category 5 typhoons. Part I: ocean features and the category 5 typhoons' intensification. Mon Weather Rev, 136(9): 3288–3306CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Marks F D, Shay L K (1998). Landfalling tropical cyclones: forecast problems and associated research opportunities. Bull Am Meteorol Soc, 79(2): 305–323CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Molinari J, Vollaro D (2010). Rapid intensification of a sheared tropical storm. Mon Weather Rev, 138(10): 3869–3885CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Nguyen L T, Molinari J (2012). Rapid intensification of a sheared, fast-moving hurricane over the Gulf Stream. Mon Weather Rev, 140(10): 3361–3378CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Reasor P D, Eastin M D, Gamache J F (2009). Rapidly intensifying Hurricane Guillermo (1997). Part I: low-wavenumber structure and evolution. Mon Weather Rev, 137(2): 603–631CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Rogers R (2010). Convective-scale structure and evolution during a high-resolution simulation of tropical cyclone rapid intensification. J Atmos Sci, 67(1): 44–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Rogers R F, Reasor P D, Zhang J A (2015). Multiscale structure and evolution of Hurricane Earl (2010) during rapid intensification. Mon Weather Rev, 143(2): 536–562CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Steiner M, Houze R A Jr, Yuter S E (1995). Climatological characterization of three-dimensional storm structure from operational radar and rain gauge data. J Appl Meteorol, 34(9): 1978–2007CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Stern D P, Zhang F Q (2013). How does the eye warm? Part I: a potential temperature budget analysis of an idealized tropical cyclone. J Atmos Sci, 70(1): 73–90CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Sun Y Q, Jiang Y X, Tan B, Zhang F Q (2013). The governing dynamics of the secondary eyewall formation of Typhoon Sinlaku (2008). J Atmos Sci, 70(12): 3818–3837CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Tao C, Jiang H (2015). Distributions of shallow to very deep precipitation-convection in rapidly intensifying tropical cyclones. J Clim, 28(22): 8791–8824CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Wang H, Wang Y Q (2014). Full access a numerical study of Typhoon Megi (2010). Part I: rapid intensification. Mon Weather Rev, 142(1): 29–48CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Wang Y Q (2009). How do outer spiral rainbands affect tropical cyclone structure and intensity? J Atmos Sci, 66(5): 1250–1273CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Wang Y, Wu C C (2004). Current understanding of tropical cyclone structure and intensity changes—a review. Meteor Atmos Phys, 87 6(4): 257–278CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Zhang D L, Chen H (2012). Importance of the upper-level warm core in the rapid intensification of a tropical cyclone. Geophys Res Lett, 39 (2): L02806CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Zheng Y, Gong Y, Chen J, Tian F (2019). Warm-season diurnal variations of total, stratiform, convective, and extreme hourly precipitation over central and eastern China. Adv Atmos Sci, 36(2): 143–159CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiba Tang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Fan Ping
    • 1
    Email author
  • Shuai Yang
    • 1
  • Mengxia Li
    • 3
  • Jing Peng
    • 4
  1. 1.Laboratory of Cloud-Precipitation Physics and Severe Storms, Institute of Atmospheric PhysicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Plateau Atmosphere and Environment Key Laboratory of Sichuan ProvinceChengduChina
  3. 3.China Meteorological Administration Henan Key Laboratory of Agrometeorological Support and Applied TechniqueZhengzhouChina
  4. 4.Key Laboratory of Regional Climate-Environment for Temperate East Asia, Institute of Atmospheric PhysicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

Personalised recommendations