Impacts of Typhoon Megi (2010) on the South China Sea
NAVAL RESEARCH LAB STENNIS DETACHMENT STENNIS SPACE CENTER MS OCEANOGRAPHY DIV
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In October 2010, typhoon Megi induced a profound cold wake of size 800 km by 500 km with sea surface temperature cooling of 8 C in the South China Sea SCS. More interestingly, the cold wake shifted from the often rightward bias to both sides of the typhoon track and moved to left in a few days. Using satellite data, in situ measurements and numerical modeling based on the East Asian Seas Nowcast Forecast System EASNFS, we performed detailed investigations. To obtain realistic typhoon-strength atmospheric forcing, the EASNFS applied typhoon-resolving Weather Research and Forecasting WRF model wind field blended with global weather forecast winds from the U.S. Navy Operational Global Atmospheric Prediction System NOGAPS. In addition to the already known impacts from the slow typhoon translation speed and shallow pre-exiting ocean thermocline, we found the importance of the unique geographical setting of the SCS and the NE monsoon. As the event happened in late October, NE monsoon already started and contributed to the southwestward ambient surface current. Together with the topographicb effect, the cold wake shifted westward to the left of Megi s track. It was also found that Megi expelled waters away from the SCS and manifested as a gush of internal Kelvin wave exporting waters through the Luzon Strait. The consequential sea level depression lasted and presented a favorable condition for cold dome development. Fission of the north-south elongated cold dome resulted afterward and produced two cold eddies that dissipated slowly thereafter.