P1D.1 Coastal ocean surface current response to hurricane Jeanne detected by WERA

Tuesday, 29 April 2008
Palms ABCD (Wyndham Orlando Resort)
Lynn K. Shay, Univ. of Miami/RSMAS, Miami, FL; and J. Martinez-Pedraja, M. D. Powell, B. K. Haus, and J. K. Brewster

In September 04, hurricane Jeanne made landfall in South Florida as a category 2 storm. During this period, Jeanne excited an energetic coastal current response as measured by a dual station Wellen Radar (WERA) deployed as part of the ONR-sponsored Southeast Atlantic Coastal Ocean Observing System. An eastward current response of 1 m s-1 emanated from the Biscayne Bay where offshore surface winds approached 25 m s-1. This current response forced an eastward bulge of ≈ 100 km2 resulting in an offshore Florida Current meander. Given fetch-limited conditions and the fact that the measurements were acquired along the southern side of Jeanne, these data suggest that WERA can certainly remain operational for winds up to 25 m s-1, and perhaps even larger if the array sites can be hardened to withstand higher winds. Using the evolution of the forced surface currents and winds at Fowey Rocks, the surface drag coefficient is estimated from the forced shallow water equations. These high-resolution surface current measurements provide an approach to infer the wind stress input under hurricane conditions.
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