Turbulent Heat Fluxes during an Intense Cold-Air Outbreak over the Kuroshio Extension Region: Results from a High-Resolution Coupled Atmosphere-Ocean Model
NAVAL RESEARCH LAB STENNIS SPACE CENTER MS OCEANOGRAPHY DIV
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The coupled ocean atmosphere mesoscale prediction system that includes the Navy Coastal Ocean Model has been configured for the Kuroshio Extension region using multiple one-way nested high-resolution grids. The coupled model system was used to simulate a strong cold-air outbreak event from 31 Jan to 7 Feb 2005 in good agreement with meteorological data from a surface buoy data and QuikSCAT scatterometer winds. Latent heat fluxes and sensible heat fluxes were computed during the event with daily averages in excess of 1,500 Wm2 and 500 Wm2, respectively, and combined instantaneous turbulent heat fluxes up to 2,300 W m2. The largest heat fluxes were found in two large meanders of the Kuroshio and along its southern flank. Strong gradients in turbulent heat fluxes coincided with strong sea surface temperature gradients and were maintained during the cold-air outbreak simulation. The large turbulent heat fluxes lead to significant subtropical mode water formation during the event at a rate about 10 Sv in the cyclonic recirculation region south of the Kuroshio. This increased the volume of core layer mode water within the temperature range 16 degrees C to 18 degrees C by 10 and increased the surface area of that layer directly exposed to the atmosphere by a factor close to 5 in the model domain.
- Atmospheric Physics
- Physical and Dynamic Oceanography