89th American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting

Tuesday, 13 January 2009: 11:30 AM
The “Tehuantepecer” Gale—An Extreme Gap Wind Event
Room 230 (Phoenix Convention Center)
Hugh D. Cobb III, NOAA/NWS/TPC, Miami, FL
Gulf of Tehuantepec Gales, colloquially known as “Tehuantepecers” is an extreme gap wind event which occurs in the cool season. This gap wind phenomena represents one of the most challenging high seas forecast issues for the Tropical Analysis and Forecast Branch (TAFB) of the Tropical Prediction Center. This challenge has been overcome with the advent of QuikSCAT scatterometer data in 1999 (high resolution data in 2003) which has provided a wealth of information on the intensity, structure and duration of these wind events as well as formulating a climatology of these events. Recent advances in mesoscale Numerical Weather Prediction models have greatly improved forecast skill on the intensity and timing of these hazardous wind events. The introduction of the ASCAT data into TAFB operations provided forecasters with an additional source of scatterometer data to aid in the interpretation of these wind events. An evaluation of the two sets of scatterometer data revealed significant differences in data coverage and depiction of the highest winds with implications on marine forecast and warnings.

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