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A Reanalysis of Hurricane Hazel (1954). Scott Weese, Ron McTaggart-Cowan and John R. Gyakum Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences McGill University Montreal, Quebec, Canada June 4th, 2003. Talk Outline. . Background . Synoptic Overview . MC2 Simulation Results . Conclusions.

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a reanalysis of hurricane hazel 1954

A Reanalysis of Hurricane Hazel (1954)

Scott Weese, Ron McTaggart-Cowan and John R. Gyakum

Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences

McGill University

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

June 4th, 2003

talk outline
Talk Outline
  • . Background
  • . Synoptic Overview
  • . MC2 Simulation Results
  • . Conclusions
slide3

Purpose: to study the thermodynamic and dynamic properties of one of the most deadly and costly weather disasters to strike southern Ontario

  • Hazel struck Ontario on 15-16 October 1954
  • rains led to flooding in Humber, Credit and Don River valleys situated near Toronto, and in the Holland Marsh north of Toronto
  • over 80 fatalities, and $175 million damage was done by Hurricane Hazel in Ontario
track of hurricane hazel
Track of Hurricane Hazel

Reference: Mason, A.H., M.K. Thomas and D.W. Boyd. 1955. The October 15-16, 1954 Storm, “Hurricane Hazel” in Ontario.

synoptic overview
Synoptic Overview
  • Considering the time between October 15th at 00z to October 16th at 12z as this is the period of the most intense rainfall in southern Ontario
  • Using the NCEP reanalysis data (Kalnay et al. 1996) to generate fields of interest
dynamic tropopause maps
Dynamic Tropopause Maps
  • The dynamic tropopause is defined as the 1.5 PVU surface
  • 1 PVU = 10-6m2s-1K kg-1
  • Ertel’s Potential Vorticity (PV) (Ertel 1942):
coupling index equivalent potential temperature and precipitable water
Coupling Index, Equivalent Potential Temperature and Precipitable Water
  • Coupling Index (CI) is a measure of bulk atmospheric stability (Bosart and Lackmann 1995)
  • Values of CI < 10 suggest convective instability
  • Precipitable water is the column integrated water vapour
mc2 simulation
MC2 Simulation
  • Using MC2 (Mesoscale Compressible Community Model) to simulate Hazel
  • NCEP Reanalysis data utilized for the initial and boundary conditions
  • following the work of Palmen (1958) and Anthes (1990)
  • test sensitivity of Hazel to improved vortex structure using model by Kurihara (1993), and increased spatial resolution (36 km)
slp comparison 15 utc 15 october
SLP Comparison 15 UTC 15October

top: Palmen’s analysis

lower left: MC2

lower right: Anthes

slp comparison 3 utc 16 october
SLP Comparison3 UTC 16October

top: Palmen’s analysis

lower left: MC2

lower right: Anthes

knox s jump
Knox’s Jump

SLP for 21 UTC 15 October to 03 UTC 16 October

conclusions
Conclusions
  • Successfully reproduced transformation of Hazel with accompanying frontogenesis and heavy precipitation over U.S.
  • Improved vortex structure and increased spatial resolution necessary for successful mesoscale modeling of Hazel