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Inner-Core Sea Surface Cooling Induced by a Tropical Cyclone

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  • 1 a State Key Laboratory of Tropical Oceanography, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, China
  • | 2 b Southern Marine Science and Engineering Guangdong Laboratory (Guangzhou), Guangzhou, China
  • | 3 c CAS Key Laboratory of Science and Technology on Operational Oceanography, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Guangzhou, China
  • | 4 d Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences and Institute of Atmospheric Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
  • | 5 e CMA–FDU Joint Laboratory of Marine Meteorology, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
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Abstract

As a key to modulate the negative feedback to tropical cyclone (TC) intensity, the TC-induced inner-core sea surface cooling (SSCIC) is poorly understood. Using a linear two-layer theory and OGCM experiments, this study illustrates that the pattern of the inner-core mixing can be well interpreted by the wind-driven currents in the mixed layer (ML). This interpretation is based on 1) the mixing is triggered by the ML bulk shear instability and 2) the lag of upwelling makes the inner-core bulk shear equivalent to the inner-core wind-driven currents. Overall, the patterns of the inner-core bulk shear and mixing resemble the crescent body of a sickle. As an accumulative result of mixing, the SSCIC is clearly weaker than the maximum cold wake because of the weaker mixing ahead of the inner core and nearly zero mixing in a part of the inner core. The SSCIC induced by a rectilinear-track TC is mainly dominated by the inner-core mixing. Only for a slow-moving case, upwelling and horizontal advection can make minor contributions to the SSCIC by incorporating them with mixing. The SSCIC strength is inversely proportional to the moving speed, suggesting the mixing time rather than the mixing strength dominates the SSCIC. Despite inability in treating the mixing strength, this study elucidates the fundamental dynamical mechanisms of SSCIC, especially emphasizing the different roles of mixing, upwelling, and horizontal advection for fast- and slow-moving TCs, and thus provides a good start point to understand SSCIC.

Significance Statement

A hurricane/typhoon mixes the upper ocean and cools the sea surface. The sea surface cooling under a hurricane/typhoon core, i.e., inner core, is the key to improve the hurricane/typhoon intensity forecast, which is poorly understood due to high observational risk/cost. We used a linear theory and a numerical model to understand the patterns of the inner-core mixing and cooling. Overall, the patterns of the inner-core mixing resemble the crescent body of a sickle. The weaker inner-core cooling is mainly due to the weaker mixing ahead of the inner core and nearly zero mixing in a part of the inner core. These results point a way to better understand the role of the ocean in affecting the hurricane/typhoon intensity.

© 2021 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Xiaodong Shang, xdshang@scsio.ac.cn

Abstract

As a key to modulate the negative feedback to tropical cyclone (TC) intensity, the TC-induced inner-core sea surface cooling (SSCIC) is poorly understood. Using a linear two-layer theory and OGCM experiments, this study illustrates that the pattern of the inner-core mixing can be well interpreted by the wind-driven currents in the mixed layer (ML). This interpretation is based on 1) the mixing is triggered by the ML bulk shear instability and 2) the lag of upwelling makes the inner-core bulk shear equivalent to the inner-core wind-driven currents. Overall, the patterns of the inner-core bulk shear and mixing resemble the crescent body of a sickle. As an accumulative result of mixing, the SSCIC is clearly weaker than the maximum cold wake because of the weaker mixing ahead of the inner core and nearly zero mixing in a part of the inner core. The SSCIC induced by a rectilinear-track TC is mainly dominated by the inner-core mixing. Only for a slow-moving case, upwelling and horizontal advection can make minor contributions to the SSCIC by incorporating them with mixing. The SSCIC strength is inversely proportional to the moving speed, suggesting the mixing time rather than the mixing strength dominates the SSCIC. Despite inability in treating the mixing strength, this study elucidates the fundamental dynamical mechanisms of SSCIC, especially emphasizing the different roles of mixing, upwelling, and horizontal advection for fast- and slow-moving TCs, and thus provides a good start point to understand SSCIC.

Significance Statement

A hurricane/typhoon mixes the upper ocean and cools the sea surface. The sea surface cooling under a hurricane/typhoon core, i.e., inner core, is the key to improve the hurricane/typhoon intensity forecast, which is poorly understood due to high observational risk/cost. We used a linear theory and a numerical model to understand the patterns of the inner-core mixing and cooling. Overall, the patterns of the inner-core mixing resemble the crescent body of a sickle. The weaker inner-core cooling is mainly due to the weaker mixing ahead of the inner core and nearly zero mixing in a part of the inner core. These results point a way to better understand the role of the ocean in affecting the hurricane/typhoon intensity.

© 2021 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Xiaodong Shang, xdshang@scsio.ac.cn
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