Two types of surface wind response to the East China Sea Kuroshio Front

TitleTwo types of surface wind response to the East China Sea Kuroshio Front
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsLiu J.W, Zhang S.P, Xie SP
JournalJournal of Climate
Date Published2013/11
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0894-8755
Accession NumberWOS:000330193800022
Keywordsair-sea interaction; atmospheric boundary-layer; equatorial pacific; Fronts; gulf-stream; in-situ; interannual variability; low-level winds; Marine boundary layer; North Pacific Ocean; numerical-simulation; satellite-observations; Sea surface; sst variations; temperature; tropical instability waves

Effects of the sea surface temperature (SST) front along the East China Sea Kuroshio on sea surface winds at different time scales are investigated. In winter and spring, the climatological vector wind is strongest on the SST front while the scalar wind speed reaches a maximum on the warm flank of the front and is collocated with the maximum difference between sea surface temperature and surface air temperature (SST - SAT). The distinction is due to the change in relative importance of two physical processes of SST-wind interaction at different time scales. The SST front-induced sea surface level pressure (SLP) adjustment (SF-SLP) contributes to a strong vector wind above the front on long time scales, consistent with the collocation of baroclinicity in the marine boundary layer and corroborated by the similarity between the thermal wind and observed wind shear between 1000 and 850 hPa. In contrast, the SST modulation of synoptic winds is more evident on the warm flank of the SST front. Large thermal instability of the near-surface layer strengthens temporal synoptic wind perturbations by intensifying vertical mixing, resulting in a scalar wind maximum. The vertical mixing and SF-SLP mechanisms are both at work but manifest more clearly at the synoptic time scale and in the long-term mean, respectively. The cross-frontal variations are 1.5 m s(-1) in both the scalar and vector wind speeds, representing the vertical mixing and SF-SLP effects, respectively. The results illustrate the utility of high-frequency sampling by satellite scatterometers.

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