The distribution and intensity of total (i.e., combined stratified and convective processes) rainrate/latent heat release (LHR) were derived for tropical cyclone Paka during the period 9-21 December, 1997 from the F-10, F-11, F-13, and F-14 Defense Meteorological Satellite Special Sensor Microwave/Imager and the Tropical Rain Measurement Mission Microwave Imager observations. These observations were frequent enough to capture three episodes of inner core convective bursts that preceded periods of rapid intensification and a convective rainband (CRB) cycle. During these periods of convective bursts, satellite sensors revealed that the rainrates/LHR: 1) increased within the inner eye wall region; 2) were mainly convectively generated (nearly a 65% contribution), 3) propagated inwards; 4) extended upwards within the middle and upper-troposphere, and 5) became electrically charged. These factors may have caused the eye wall region to become more buoyant within the middle and upper-troposphere, creating greater cyclonic angular momentum, and, thereby, warming the center and intensifying the system. Radiosonde measurements from Kwajalein Atoll and Guam, sea surface temperature observations, and the European Center for Medium Range Forecast analyses were used to examine the necessary and sufficient condition for initiating and maintaining these inner core convective bursts. For example, the necessary conditions such as the atmospheric thermodynamics (i.e., cold tropopause temperatures, moist troposphere, and warm SSTs [greater than 26 deg]) suggested that the atmosphere was ideal for Paka's maximum potential intensity (MPI) to approach super-typhoon strength. Further, Paka encountered weak vertical wind shear (less than 15 m/s ) before interacting with the westerlies on 21 December. The sufficient conditions, on the other hand, appeared to have some influence on Paka's convective burst, but the horizontal moisture flux convergence values in the outer core were weaker than some of the previously examined tropical cyclones. Also, the upper tropospheric outflow generation of eddy relative angular momentum flux convergence was 4D much less than that found during moderate tropical cyclone/trough interaction. These results indicated how important the external necessary condition and the internal forcing (i.e., CRB cycle) were in generating Paka's convective bursts as compared to the external sufficient forcing mechanisms found in higher latitude tropical cyclones. Later, as Paka began to interact with the westerlies, both the necessary (i.e., strong vertical shear and colder SSTs) and sufficient (i.e., dry air intrusion) external forcing mechanisms helped to decrease Paka's rainrate.
Meteorology and Climatology