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Title: The 23-26 September 2012 UK floods : influence of diabatic processes and upper-level forcing on cyclone development
Author: Hardy, Sam
ISNI:       0000 0004 6496 452X
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2017
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The thesis comprises two separate journal articles that together form a coherent body of work. In this thesis, the key physical processes responsible for the 23-26 September 2012 UK floods are investigated using a case study approach. The cyclone responsible for the floods developed near the Azores on 20¬-22 September following the interaction between an equatorward-moving potential vorticity (PV) streamer and tropical storm Nadine. Convectively-driven latent heat release associated with the developing cyclone reduced upper-level PV and resulted in the fracture of the PV streamer into a discrete anomaly as the cyclone intensified. In Paper 1, convection-permitting model simulations and diabatic heating rate and PV tendency calculations along trajectories demonstrate that deposition heating strongly reduced upper-level PV in the vicinity of the PV streamer, contributing to its fracture into a discrete anomaly. The cyclone deepened further over the UK on 23-26 September, ahead of a second upper-level PV anomaly. In Paper 2, sensitivity simulations of the storm are presented. PV inversion is used to modify the strength and position of the PV anomaly in the initial conditions and to examine whether the event could have been even more extreme with different upper-level forcing. Results show that quasigeostrophic forcing for ascent ahead of the PV anomaly contributed to the maintenance of the rainfall band over the UK. Counterintuitively however, strengthening the upper-level forcing produced a shallower cyclone with lower rainfall totals. Instead of moving eastward over the UK to interact with the cyclone, the strengthened anomaly rotated cyclonically around a large-scale trough over Iceland, resulting in a fragmented rainfall band. The counterintuitive results suggest that the verifying analysis represents almost the highest-impact scenario possible for this flooding event.
Supervisor: Schultz, David Sponsor: Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Flooding ; United Kingdom ; Ice-phase microphysics ; Diabatic heating ; Potential vorticity ; Extratropical cyclone