Date of Award




Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences

Content Description

1 online resource (xii, 118 pages) : color illustrations, color maps.

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Ryan Torn

Committee Members

Ryan Torn, Brian Tang


Large-Scale, Rapid Intensification, Slow Intensification, Storm-Scale, Tropical Cyclone, Cyclones, Vertical wind shear, Convection (Meteorology)

Subject Categories

Atmospheric Sciences


Tropical cyclone (TC) intensity change is modulated by a combination of large-scale and storm-scale processes. On the large-scale, several factors exhibit strong controls on TC rapid intensification (RI): the initial TC intensity, the environmental vertical wind shear (VWS), and the background thermodynamic environment, which determines the TC’s maximum potential intensity (MPI). Previous statistical studies comparing RI and non-RI TCs have shown that TCs undergoing RI tend to be embedded in environments of lower VWS, and have initial intensities that are farther from their MPIs. Although numerous statistical studies have compared the large-scale and storm-scale conditions of RI and non-RI TCs, most comparisons have been performed on TC groups with a broad spectrum of initial intensities, VWS magnitudes and MPIs. Moreover, earlier statistical studies did not consider the temporal and spatial evolutions of characteristics in the shear-relative framework. Therefore, their conclusions did not account for the distinct organization of the TC convective structure by VWS. The current study uniquely addresses these considerations using an analog method. We seek to gain additional insight into the environmental and storm-scale factors that differentiate RI from lesser rates of intensification by comparing TCs that undergo RI with a set of analog TCs that have similar initial intensity, VWS, and MPI, but undergo slow intensification (SI).