Sea Surface Cooling due to Precipitation in the Tropics

Tuesday, 19 April 2016
Plaza Grand Ballroom (The Condado Hilton Plaza)
Camila G. M. Ramos, Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, FL; and P. Ray
Manuscript (319.0 kB)

Handout (3.0 MB)

Precipitation is an important component of the global hydrological cycle. It affects the upper ocean salinity by adding freshwater to the ocean. In addition, precipitation plays a role in cooling the ocean surface since the temperature of the raindrops is lower than the temperature of the ocean surface. However, this surface cooling due to precipitation (Qp) remains an overlooked feature and is not included in the IPCC models.

We will focus on two aspects regarding Qp: First, we will provide a comprehensive documentation of the spatio-temporal variability of QP over the tropical oceans using a variety of observational datasets. The result shows that the Qp can have the same or larger magnitude compared to the sensible heat flux (due to difference in SST and air temperature) and even latent heat flux under certain circumstances. Second, we will discuss the implementation of this process into a simplified three dimensional ocean model coupled to the WRF model to understand its role on the upper ocean dynamics and thermodynamics.

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