11th Conference on Satellite Meteorology and Oceanography


Tropical cyclone forcing in the Gulf of Mexico

Mark A. Bourassa, Florida State Univ., Tallahassee, FL; and S. L. Morey, J. Zavala, and J. J. O'Brien

The upper ocean response to surface forcing by a hurricane is investigated with a new high-resolution simulation of the Gulf of Mexico using the Navy Coastal Ocean Model forced by satellite-observed surface winds. The model simulates the effects of the hurricane winds measured by the SeaWinds scatterometer on submesoscale and mesoscale oceanic features. SeaWinds on QuikSCAT has approximately twice daily coverage of the Gulf of Mexico. The scatterometer wind vectors are objectively blended with the ETA modelís surface winds. The resulting wind field has 0.5x0.5 degree grid spacing. The influence of the energetic forcing over the wide shallow continental shelf is examined in detail. The combined use of satellite and atmospheric model data permits the investigation of the relative importance of surface momentum flux and surface heat flux associated with the hurricane on the upper ocean mixed layer and the stratification of the shelf water.

Poster Session 1, Environmental Applications
Monday, 15 October 2001, 9:45 AM-11:15 AM

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