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Keywords:

  • subtropical cyclones;
  • tropical transitions;
  • South Atlantic Ocean;
  • energetics;
  • turbulent fluxes

Abstract

[1] Subtropical cyclogenesis and tropical transitions (TT) over the South Atlantic Ocean only received attention after the first documented Hurricane Catarina occurred close to the southern Brazilian coast in March 2004. However, due to the lack of studies in this part of the Atlantic Ocean, it is still unclear what the main environmental conditions and dynamical processes associated with TT or even subtropical cyclogenesis are over the region. This study presents a synoptic and dynamical analysis of the subtropical cyclone Anita which occurred in March 2010 near the Brazilian coast. This system started as a pure subtropical cyclone, evolved to a condition favorable to TT, later developed into a cold-core structure, and decayed as an extratropical cyclone. During the period favorable for TT, the turbulent heat fluxes (latent plus sensible) from the ocean decreased, and Anita started interacting with another extratropical disturbance, preventing the TT to happen. This interaction, in turn, increased the vertical wind shear, allowed the extratropical transition to occur, and promoted the westward displacement of Anita to colder waters, thus decreasing the turbulent heat fluxes. The results suggest that the combination of a dipole blocking pattern aloft, with contribution from barotropic energy conversions, and strong turbulent fluxes is an important ingredient for tropical storm development. Hybrid storms in such environmental conditions can be one form of precursors of hurricanes over the South Atlantic.