Surface storm tracks over the ocean in global climate models

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Monday, 5 January 2015
R. Justin Small, UCAR, Boulder, CO; and J. Booth, Y. O. Kwon, and R. Msadek

The free tropospheric storm track has been well studied in climate models, with a focus on how well they compare with reanalysis and in-situ data, and how they are predicted to change in future climates. The surface manifestation of these storm tracks over the ocean is important for the distribution of ocean mixing, as well as for marine transportation. These surface storm tracks have only recently been identified in observations and reanalysis, and not well studied in climate models. This presentation will compare the surface storm tracks in climate models such as Community Earth System Model, Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory model and the Goddard Institute for Space Studies model with reanalysis (ERA-Interim) and satellite scatterometer data. We investigate governing factors for biases (or lack thereof) in model surface storm tracks, including i) the overlying free troposphere storm track ii) boundary processes including surface stability and temperature gradient iii) model representation of ocean fronts such as western boundary currents.