Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Lin, Yuh-Lang Dr.


This study investigates the tropical cyclones of the past two decades (1990-2010) and the correlation, if any, between their size and their ability to undergo rapid intensification (RI). Results show that rapidly intensifying storms do show sensitivity to initial size. Comparisons between RI and non-RI storms confirm that tropical cyclones that undergo RI are more likely to be smaller than those that do not. Findings show that the RMW and the average 34kt radius have the strongest negative correlation with the change of intensity. Alternatively, there is no correlation between ROCI and the subsequent change of intensity. Scatter plots made for the RI storms imply there is a threshold for RI. Both thresholds lie at the boundary separating the medium and large storms, suggesting that once a tropical cyclone is too large, it is very difficult to it to undergo RI. During the past two decades, a tropical cyclone was three to four times more likely to undergo rapid intensification if it was small.