26th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology

Wednesday, 5 May 2004
Effects of sea spray on the simulation of hurricanes using LES-based parameterizations
Richelieu Room (Deauville Beach Resort)
William M. Frank, Penn State University, University Park, PA; and J. C. Wyngaard, Y. C. Kwon, and M. Kelly
Poster PDF (26.8 kB)
This study examines the behavior of simulated, idealized hurricanes in response to parameterized effects of sea spray. Hurricanes produce copious amounts of spray, and recent studies of spray behavior indicate that it can have potentially large effects on the air-sea exchanges of sensible heat, latent heat, and momentum. Parameterizations of spray effects on these surface fluxes have been developed and tested, but there is still a great deal of uncertainty as to how these parameterizations should behave at very high wind speeds. The uncertainties result from the complexity of the problem and from the lack of adequate observations in the lower boundary layers of hurricanes.

The current study is part of a larger project that is using Large-Eddy Simulation (LES) to simulate explicitly the behavior of spray in hurricane boundary layers. This paper describes the use of the LES results to tune spray parameterizations and then to explore the effects of spray on modeled hurricanes. The idealized hurricanes are simulated using the Penn State/NCAR Mesoscale Model (MM5). The poster will show results of the LES simulations, discuss how these results are used to alter the spray parameterizations of the hurricane model, and show sensitivity studies of the effects of the modified spray parameters on the modeled storms.

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