Coupling between Sea Surface Temperature and Low-Level Winds in Mesoscale Numerical Models Public Deposited

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  • This study evaluates the impacts of sea surface temperature (SST) specification and grid resolution on numerical simulations of air–sea coupling near oceanic fronts through analyses of surface winds from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) model. The 9 May 2001 change of the boundary condition from the Reynolds SST analyses to the NOAA Real-Time Global (RTG) SST in the ECMWF model resulted in an abrupt increase in mesoscale variance of the model surface winds over the ocean. In contrast, the 21 November 2000 change of the grid resolution resulted in an abrupt increase in mesoscale variability of surface winds over mountainous regions on land but had no significant effect on winds over the ocean. To further investigate model sensitivity to the SST boundary condition and grid resolution, a series of simulations were made with the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model over a domain encompassing the Agulhas return current (ARC: also called “retroflection”) region in the south Indian Ocean. Results from three WRF simulations with SST measured by the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer on the Earth Observing System Aqua satellite (AMSR-E) and the Reynolds and RTG SST analyses indicate the vital importance of the resolution of the SST boundary condition for accurate simulation of the air–sea coupling between SST and surface wind speed. WRF simulations with grid spacings of 40 and 25 km show that the latter increased energy only on scales shorter than 250 km. In contrast, improved resolution of SST significantly increased the mesoscale variability for scales up to 1000 km. Further sensitivity studies with the WRF model conclude that the weak coupling of surface wind speeds from the ECMWF model to SST is likely attributable primarily to the weak response of vertical turbulent mixing to SST-induced stability in the parameterization of boundary layer turbulence, with an overestimation of vertical diffusion by about 60% on average in stable conditions and an underestimation by about 40% in unstable conditions
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  • Song, Qingtao, Dudley B. Chelton, Steven K. Esbensen, Nicolai Thum, Larry W. O’Neill, 2009: Coupling between Sea Surface Temperature and Low-Level Winds in Mesoscale Numerical Models. Journal of Climate, 22, 146–164.
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  • description.provenance : Made available in DSpace on 2012-02-14T22:59:58Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 CheltonDudleyB.CEOAS.CouplingBetweenSea.pdf: 2951415 bytes, checksum: 6ccaafe952d94d38befeaab455214caa (MD5) Previous issue date: 2009-01
  • description.provenance : Submitted by Deborah Campbell (deborah.campbell@oregonstate.edu) on 2012-02-14T22:59:57Z No. of bitstreams: 1 CheltonDudleyB.CEOAS.CouplingBetweenSea.pdf: 2951415 bytes, checksum: 6ccaafe952d94d38befeaab455214caa (MD5)

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