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  • Author or Editor: Robert O. Reid x
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Andrew C. Vastano
Robert O. Reid


Sea surface flow derived from displacements of surface patterns in sequential NOAA-6 AVHRR (11 micron band) satellite images yield coherent nonuniform distributions of velocity vectors, An analytic representation of flow over the region of the distribution is obtained by performing a least-squares regression analysis for coefficients of a streamfunction expansion that is expressed in terms of trigonometric bash functions. Sea surface topography is estimated with the streamfunction by employing a geostrophic approximation. An application is made to a portion of the Oyashio Frontal Zone in the northwestern Pacific that includes the First and Second Oyashio Intrusions and an anticyclonic eddy. A horizontal map of a local rotational perturbation property is calculated for this region as a further example of the use of the streamfunction analysis.

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Wensu Wang
Worth D. Nowlin Jr.
, and
Robert O. Reid


Hourly wind fields for the northwestern Gulf of Mexico (here called LATEX winds) were constructed from in situ measurements for the period April 1992 through November 1994 using statistical (optimal) interpolation. Here the LATEX winds are compared with the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) and the European Remote Sensing Satellite (ERS-1) scatterometer winds for the same period and region. Comparisons show no significant bias between LATEX and ERS-1 wind speeds or directions. LATEX and ERS-1 wind fields nearly coincide except during extreme meteorological events when ERS-1 fields may show noncoherent patterns over distances for which coherence is expected; for those situations, LATEX winds appear more realistic. Although there is no significant bias between wind speeds, the direction bias is more than 10° between the LATEX and NCEP winds. The largest differences between LATEX and NCEP winds occurred near the coast. In summer, the NCEP and LATEX winds showed larger differences and smaller variance; for winter the reverse was true. The authors conclude from the comparisons that LATEX wind fields provided realistic and detailed surface winds that are appropriate for the study of mesoscale processes and forcing of numerical models over the Texas–Louisiana continental shelf.

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