Summertime Coupling between Sea Surface Temperature and Wind Stress in the California Current System Public Deposited

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  • Satellite observations of wind stress and sea surface temperature (SST) are analyzed to investigate ocean–atmosphere interaction in the California Current System (CCS). As in regions of strong SST fronts elsewhere in the World Ocean, SST in the CCS region is positively correlated with surface wind stress when SST fronts are strong, which occurs during the summertime in the CCS region. This ocean influence on the atmosphere is apparently due to SST modification of stability and mixing in the atmospheric boundary layer and is most clearly manifest in the derivative wind stress fields: wind stress curl and divergence are linearly related to, respectively, the crosswind and downwind components of the local SST gradient. The dynamic range of the Ekman upwelling velocities associated with the summertime SST-induced perturbations of the wind stress curl is larger than that of the upwelling velocities associated with the mean summertime wind stress curl. This suggests significant feedback effects on the ocean, which likely modify the SST distribution that perturbed the wind stress curl field. The atmosphere and ocean off the west coast of North America must therefore be considered a fully coupled system. It is shown that the observed summertime ocean–atmosphere interaction is poorly represented in the NOAA North American Mesoscale Model (formerly called the Eta Model). This is due, at least in part, to the poor resolution and accuracy of the SST boundary condition used in the model. The sparse distribution of meteorological observations available over the CCS for data assimilation may also contribute to the poor model performance.
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  • Chelton, Dudley B., Michael G. Schlax, Roger M. Samelson, 2007: Summertime Coupling between Sea Surface Temperature and Wind Stress in the California Current System. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 37(3), 495–517.
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Sue Kunda(sue.kunda@oregonstate.edu) on 2011-12-30T18:18:00Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 CheltonDudleyB.CEOAS.SummertimeCouplingBetween.pdf: 3134001 bytes, checksum: c49e4ba7db123df19c7f048ebb283ab1 (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Made available in DSpace on 2011-12-30T18:18:00Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 CheltonDudleyB.CEOAS.SummertimeCouplingBetween.pdf: 3134001 bytes, checksum: c49e4ba7db123df19c7f048ebb283ab1 (MD5) Previous issue date: 2007-03
  • description.provenance : Submitted by Deborah Campbell (deborah.campbell@oregonstate.edu) on 2011-12-14T18:19:14Z No. of bitstreams: 1 CheltonDudleyB.CEOAS.SummertimeCouplingBetween.pdf: 3134001 bytes, checksum: c49e4ba7db123df19c7f048ebb283ab1 (MD5)
  • Journal of Physical Oceanography
  • Vol. 37 no. 3

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