Our old friend Anastassia Makarieva has a new paper in press with her colleagues Victor Gorschov and A.V. Nefiodov: ‘Empirical evidence for the condensational theory of hurricanes’. A preprint is available here. This theory is an extension of her earlier work on where winds come from, which we discussed a couple of years ago.
The new paper concludes with this:
We derived the relationship between the gravitational power of precipitation and air velocity in the windwall from the previously developed theory of condensation-induced dynamics [3,5]. We emphasize that the gravitational power of precipitation exists irrespective of the dissipation of the kinetic energy of hurricanes (distinct from the interpretation given in work ). The hurricane power budget would remain the same even if precipitation occurred in free fall with rain drops not interacting with atmospheric air.
All energy of hurricane is concentrated in the windwall and the eye. This energy derives from condensation of water vapor accumulated within the hurricane area; in accordance with Bernoulli equation this energy increases logarithmically with narrowing radial air flow as it approaches the windwall. Velocity of air rotation in the windwall is the maximum velocity observed in the hurricane. Hurricane eye is the dominant source of turbulent friction, which significantly diminishes the windwall energy during its formation. The stationary cyclostrophic balance within the eye does not require a power input, which means that the eye and its kinetic energy can exist for a longer while independent of the windwall. Meanwhile disintegration of the windwall by the centrifugal force can only be prevented by the power of the radial air inflow, that is maintained by water vapor condensation. Unlike energy, the kinetic power of the hurricane is not concentrated within the windwall, but is distributed over the total hurricane area.