Wednesday, 12 February 2003: 2:45 PM
Mesoscale forcing of ocean waves during Gulf Stream North Wall Events
Under meteorological conditions associated with extreme cold air outbreaks off the U.S. East Coast, large ocean waves sometimes develop along the North Wall of the Gulf Stream. These wave events produce wave heights above those expected given the short fetch and moderate winds. The highest waves are often very localized, which suggests localized forcing by the atmosphere. In this study, results from three cases are examined to characterize the role of high resolution, mesoscale wind forcing in generating localized regions of large ocean waves. Both empirical wave forecast techniques and a numerical wave model are used with a mesoscale atmospheric model to develop waves for these cases. Descriptions of the basic meteorological forcing and the role of air-sea interaction effects in generating mesoscale wind and wave distributions will be presented.