12th Conference on Interactions of the Sea and Atmosphere


First Look at Wind Stress and Wind Stress Curl along California and Northern Baja California

Darko Koracĭn, DRI, Reno, NV; and C. E. Dorman and R. Sundararajan

Numerical experiments were made using Mesoscale Model 5(MM5) with a horizontal resolution of 9 km to simulate the wind divergence, wind stress, and wind stress curl along California and Northern Baja California for all of June 1996. In the inner 100 km, alternating zones of higher and lower wind stress were found. Offshore 100-150 km, the wind stress changes more gradually. The major maxima of wind stress are simulated in the areas of Point Arena, Point Conception and Baja California. The average June 1999 wind stress curl structure is spatially shifted from that associated with the basic wind stress. Most of the structure in the wind stress curl is close to the coast and is in response to land topography. Relative to large capes, areas of strong, positive wind stress curl are found in the lee while weaker or negative wind stress curl areas are found on the upwind side. The simulations indicate that the negative wind stress curl extends further offshore than the positive wind stress curl. Further offshore is a more uniform, weak, and positive wind stress curl. According to the simulations, the islands offshore of southern California significantly perturb an incoming flow and induce generally increased wind stress and gradient in the wind stress curl.

extended abstract  Extended Abstract (572K)

Poster Session 5, Microscale and Mesoscale Air-Sea Interaction
Tuesday, 11 February 2003, 9:45 AM-11:00 AM

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