25th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology


upper ocean Heat Content and Energy Extracted by the storm: Analytical Look

Joseph J. Cione, NOAA/AOML/HRD, Miami, FL; and E. W. Uhlhorn

Earlier observational studies have documented the significant impact hurricanes can have on the vertical and horizontal structure of the upper ocean environment. The dramatic cooling at the surface which often results can be the order of 4-6K to the rear of the storm. However, these "cold wake" cooling patterns are usually valid well after storm passage and, as such, are not representative of upper ocean thermal coditions observed within the hurricane inner core environment. This is an important point since much of the ocean-to-atmosphere exchange of energy in hurricanes occurs within this concentrated high wind region. Unfortunately, the hurricane inner core is without question the most difficult region to routinely observe. Factors such as 10-20m ocean waves and wind speeds in excess of 50ms-1 make this region dangerous to regularly circumnavigate and difficult for in-situ platforms to survive. As a result, high resolution, accurate and continuous measurements of the hurricane inner core upper ocean have only rarely been observed.

Using an upper ocean mixed layer model in conjunction with realistic upper ocean data, several numerical experiments will be conducted. A primary goal will be to investigate how and to what extent storm-induced upper ocean response is controlled by initial upper ocean thermal conditions. The sensitivity of upper ocean cooling to select atmospheric forcing parameters will also be investigated. Unlike earlier post-storm cold wake numerical and observational studies, this research will only focus on upper ocean response that occurs within the high wind inner core hurricane environment. Detailed analyses of the simulations conducted as well as a description of the model used will be presented.

extended abstract  Extended Abstract (40K)

Session 16C, Tropical Cyclone Air-Sea Interaction III (Parallel with Sessions 16A and 16B)
Friday, 3 May 2002, 8:30 AM-10:30 AM

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