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Assessing the oceanic control on the amplitude of sea surface cooling induced by tropical cyclones

Assessing the oceanic control on the amplitude of sea surface cooling induced by tropical cyclones
Assessing the oceanic control on the amplitude of sea surface cooling induced by tropical cyclones
Tropical cyclones (TCs) induce sea surface cooling that feeds back negatively on their intensity. Previous studies indicate that the cooling magnitude depends on oceanic conditions as well as TC characteristics, but this oceanic control has been poorly documented. We investigate the oceanic influence on TC-induced cooling using a global ocean model experiment that realistically samples the ocean response to more than 3,000 TCs over the last 30 years. We derive a physically grounded oceanic parameter, the Cooling Inhibition index (CI), which measures the potential energy input required to cool the ocean surface through vertical mixing, and hence accounts for the pre-storm upper-ocean stratification resistance to TC-induced cooling. The atmospheric control is described using the wind power index (WPi), a proxy of the kinetic energy transferred to the ocean by a TC, which accounts for both the effects of maximum winds and translation speed. The cooling amplitude increases almost linearly with WPi. For a given WPi, the cooling amplitude can however vary by an order of magnitude: a strong wind energy input can either result in a 0.5°C or 5°C cooling, depending on oceanic background state. Using an oceanic parameter such as CI in addition to wind energy input improves statistical hindcasts of the cold wake amplitude by ?40%. Deriving an oceanic parameter based on the potential energy required to cool the ocean surface through vertical mixing is thus a promising way to better account for ocean characteristics in TCs studies.
0148-0227
C05023
Vincent, Emmanuel M.
06aa233c-bb5e-438e-8672-7a53b826e014
Lengaigne, Matthieu
3f78eafe-bcd2-41c4-9e0e-3b8bb3c55aa4
Vialard, Jérôme
165dd2c7-d5ec-4bd6-9f20-02e182e38f36
Madec, Gurvan
ffb28deb-4bbd-4a4c-914f-492f813e4864
Jourdain, Nicolas C.
768842f8-f66e-4ab0-bfd7-74dd4dbec93d
Masson, Sébastien
3c93954e-649f-478b-a35e-d06879fb5d12
Vincent, Emmanuel M.
06aa233c-bb5e-438e-8672-7a53b826e014
Lengaigne, Matthieu
3f78eafe-bcd2-41c4-9e0e-3b8bb3c55aa4
Vialard, Jérôme
165dd2c7-d5ec-4bd6-9f20-02e182e38f36
Madec, Gurvan
ffb28deb-4bbd-4a4c-914f-492f813e4864
Jourdain, Nicolas C.
768842f8-f66e-4ab0-bfd7-74dd4dbec93d
Masson, Sébastien
3c93954e-649f-478b-a35e-d06879fb5d12

Vincent, Emmanuel M., Lengaigne, Matthieu, Vialard, Jérôme, Madec, Gurvan, Jourdain, Nicolas C. and Masson, Sébastien (2012) Assessing the oceanic control on the amplitude of sea surface cooling induced by tropical cyclones. Journal of Geophysical Research, 117 (C5), C05023. (doi:10.1029/2011JC007705).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Tropical cyclones (TCs) induce sea surface cooling that feeds back negatively on their intensity. Previous studies indicate that the cooling magnitude depends on oceanic conditions as well as TC characteristics, but this oceanic control has been poorly documented. We investigate the oceanic influence on TC-induced cooling using a global ocean model experiment that realistically samples the ocean response to more than 3,000 TCs over the last 30 years. We derive a physically grounded oceanic parameter, the Cooling Inhibition index (CI), which measures the potential energy input required to cool the ocean surface through vertical mixing, and hence accounts for the pre-storm upper-ocean stratification resistance to TC-induced cooling. The atmospheric control is described using the wind power index (WPi), a proxy of the kinetic energy transferred to the ocean by a TC, which accounts for both the effects of maximum winds and translation speed. The cooling amplitude increases almost linearly with WPi. For a given WPi, the cooling amplitude can however vary by an order of magnitude: a strong wind energy input can either result in a 0.5°C or 5°C cooling, depending on oceanic background state. Using an oceanic parameter such as CI in addition to wind energy input improves statistical hindcasts of the cold wake amplitude by ?40%. Deriving an oceanic parameter based on the potential energy required to cool the ocean surface through vertical mixing is thus a promising way to better account for ocean characteristics in TCs studies.

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Published date: 2012
Organisations: Marine Systems Modelling

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Local EPrints ID: 341878
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/341878
ISSN: 0148-0227
PURE UUID: 0dc4cf6b-a5ff-4a7e-9c3f-283d671cd50b

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Date deposited: 06 Aug 2012 14:17
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 05:32

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Contributors

Author: Emmanuel M. Vincent
Author: Matthieu Lengaigne
Author: Jérôme Vialard
Author: Gurvan Madec
Author: Nicolas C. Jourdain
Author: Sébastien Masson

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