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Sabique Langodan
,
Luigi Cavaleri
,
Angela Pomaro
,
Jesus Portilla
,
Yasser Abualnaja
, and
Ibrahim Hoteit

Abstract

The wind and wave climatology of the Red Sea is derived from a validated 30-yr high-resolution model simulation. After describing the relevant features of the basin, the main wind and wave systems are identified by using an innovative spectral partition technique to explain their genesis and characteristics. In the northern part of the sea, wind and waves of the same intensity are present throughout the year, while the central and southern zones are characterized by a marked seasonality. The partition technique allows the association of a general decrease in the energy of the different wave systems with a specific weather pattern. The most intense decrease is found in the northern storms, which are associated with meteorological pulses from the Mediterranean Sea.

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Yasser Abualnaja
,
Vassilis P. Papadopoulos
,
Simon A. Josey
,
Ibrahim Hoteit
,
Harilaos Kontoyiannis
, and
Dionysios E. Raitsos

Abstract

The impacts of various climate modes on the Red Sea surface heat exchange are investigated using the MERRA reanalysis and the OAFlux satellite reanalysis datasets. Seasonality in the atmospheric forcing is also explored. Mode impacts peak during boreal winter [December–February (DJF)] with average anomalies of 12–18 W m−2 to be found in the northern Red Sea. The North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), the east Atlantic–west Russia (EAWR) pattern, and the Indian monsoon index (IMI) exhibit the strongest influence on the air–sea heat exchange during the winter. In this season, the largest negative anomalies of about −30 W m−2 are associated with the EAWR pattern over the central part of the Red Sea. In other seasons, mode-related anomalies are considerably lower, especially during spring when the mode impacts are negligible. The mode impacts are strongest over the northern half of the Red Sea during winter and autumn. In summer, the southern half of the basin is strongly influenced by the multivariate ENSO index (MEI). The winter mode–related anomalies are determined mostly by the latent heat flux component, while in summer the shortwave flux is also important. The influence of the modes on the Red Sea is found to be generally weaker than on the neighboring Mediterranean basin.

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Vassilis P. Papadopoulos
,
Yasser Abualnaja
,
Simon A. Josey
,
Amy Bower
,
Dionysios E. Raitsos
,
Harilaos Kontoyiannis
, and
Ibrahim Hoteit

Abstract

The influence of the atmospheric circulation on the winter air–sea heat fluxes over the northern Red Sea is investigated during the period 1985–2011. The analysis based on daily heat flux values reveals that most of the net surface heat exchange variability depends on the behavior of the turbulent components of the surface flux (the sum of the latent and sensible heat). The large-scale composite sea level pressure (SLP) maps corresponding to turbulent flux minima and maxima show distinct atmospheric circulation patterns associated with each case. In general, extreme heat loss (with turbulent flux lower than −400 W m−2) over the northern Red Sea is observed when anticyclonic conditions prevail over an area extending from the Mediterranean Sea to eastern Asia along with a recession of the equatorial African lows system. Subcenters of high pressure associated with this pattern generate the required steep SLP gradient that enhances the wind magnitude and transfers cold and dry air masses from higher latitudes. Conversely, turbulent flux maxima (heat loss minimization with values from −100 to −50 W m−2) are associated with prevailing low pressures over the eastern Mediterranean and an extended equatorial African low that reaches the southern part of the Red Sea. In this case, a smooth SLP field over the northern Red Sea results in weak winds over the area that in turn reduce the surface heat loss. At the same time, southerlies blowing along the main axis of the Red Sea transfer warm and humid air northward, favoring heat flux maxima.

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