Though their effects on human populations are often devastating, tropical cyclones can relieve drought conditions. They also carry heat energy away from the tropics and transport it toward temperate latitudes , which may play an important role in modulating regional and global climate .

Tropical cyclones are areas of relatively low pressure in the troposphere , with the largest pressure perturbations occurring at low altitudes near the surface. On Earth, the pressures recorded at the centers of tropical cyclones are among the lowest ever observed at sea level . [7] The environment near the center of tropical cyclones is warmer than the surroundings at all altitudes, thus they are characterized as “warm core” systems. [8]

The previously mentioned processes result in a wind field that is nearly axisymmetric : Wind speeds are low at the center, increase rapidly moving outwards to the radius of maximum winds, and then decay more gradually with radius to large radii. However, the wind field often exhibits additional spatial and temporal variability due to the effects of localized processes, such as thunderstorm activity and horizontal flow instabilities . In the vertical direction, winds are strongest near the surface and decay with height within the troposphere. [11]


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