Tuesday, 19 April 2016
Plaza Grand Ballroom (The Condado Hilton Plaza)
Analysis of 153 in situ ocean profiles influenced by three hurricanes Isaac (category 1), Iselle (category 4), and Julio (category 3) reveals that these hurricanes can create their own salinity-driven ocean barrier layer from heavy precipitation. The freshening of salinity that results from 150-300 mm of rainfall in these hurricanes is about 0.1-0.2 PSU. Eastern Pacific Argo floats near the tracks of Iselle and Julio indicate the barrier layer potential energy (BLPE) values are between 750- 2000 J/m² just after tropical cyclone (TC) passage. AXCTD profiles deployed before, during, and after Isaac in the Gulf of Mexico show how the barrier layer develops throughout a TC passage. In these TCs, the corresponding maximum barrier depths are 10-20 m deep and are independent of density stratification within the isothermal layer. This suggests BLPE is a better measure of barrier layers' capacity to suppress mixing and minimize SST cooling from hurricanes.
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