Effect of Two-Way Air-Sea Coupling in High and Low Wind Speed Regimes

Chen, Sue; Campbell, Tim J.; Jin, Hao; Gaberšek, Saša; Hodur, Richard M.; Martin, Paul
September 2010
Monthly Weather Review;Sep2010, Vol. 138 Issue 9, p3579
Academic Journal
A recent advance in the Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere Mesoscale Prediction System (COAMPS) is described and used to study two-way air-sea coupling and its impact on two different weather scenarios. The first case examines the impact of a hurricane-induced cold ocean wake on simulated changes in the structure of Hurricane Katrina. The second case investigates the effect of wind- and current-induced island wakes and their impact on the local electromagnetic (EM) and acoustic propagation characteristics in the Southern California Bight region. In the Katrina case, both the atmosphere and ocean show a strong response from air-sea interaction. The model results show that wind-induced turbulent mixing, vertical advection, and horizontal advection are the three primary causes of the development of the trailing cold ocean wake. A distinct spatial separation is seen in these three primary forcing terms that are generating the bulk of the cooling in the ocean mixed layer. An asymmetric tropical cyclone structure change has been documented in detail from a more realistic, full physics, and tightly coupled model. These changes include a broadening of the eye, a reduced radius of hurricane-force wind, and a pronounced inner-core dry slot on the west side of the storm. In the island wake experiment, many finescale variations in the wind, current, and static stability structure resulting from the two-way interaction are described. These variations take the form of narrow vorticity and temperature anomalies that are found to reside in the ocean and atmosphere well downwind from the Channel Islands. Upwind differences in the lower-atmospheric wind and thermal structure also arise and are found to have a small impact on the lee-flow structure and EM characteristics of the southernmost Channel Islands.


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