83rd Annual

Wednesday, 12 February 2003
Satellite observations of air-sea interaction during a Santa Ana event
Hua Hu, JPL, Pasadena, CA; and W. T. Liu
Poster PDF (1.3 MB)
Santa Ana is a local weather condition that occurs in southern California and sometimes can be of a potential threat to public safety, such as spreading destructive fires. Santa Anas are characterized by strong offshore surface winds, low relative humidities, and clearing of clouds. Santa Anas occur mainly in the fall and winter, and may last one to several days. The formation of Santa Ana wind is associated with an intense high pressure system in the Great Basin and a weak low pressure system off the southern California coast. The strong pressure gradients produce offshore mountain downslope winds which are channeled by canyons and passes.

In this paper, we will present a case study of Santa Ana event occurred during the February of 2002. High-resolution satellite observations are used to study air-sea interaction activities enhanced by strong Santa Ana winds. Dust plumes are observed along surface wind jets, bringing dust from the desert to the coastal ocean. Cold-water plumes with high chlorophyll-a concentrations are created by intense vertical mixing of the ocean. Results will be compared to in situ observations and model forecasts.

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