J2.4 Atmospheric Ekman dynamics above an SST front

Monday, 9 July 2012: 11:15 AM
Essex Center/South (Westin Copley Place)
Thomas J. Kilpatrick, SIO, La Jolla, CA; and N. Schneider and B. Qiu

The impact of midlatitude SST fronts on the atmospheric Ekman layer is examined in idealized experiments with the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. Bottom Ekman layer concepts are applied to the mechanisms proposed by Lindzen and Nigam (1987) and Wallace et al (1989), in light of satellite observations showing the sensitivity of wind stress to SST fronts. Boundary layer convergence, or Ekman pumping, is of particular interest because of its role in the spindown of synoptic motions.

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