Atmospheric Boundary Layer and Oceanic Mixed Layer Observations in Hurricane Josephine Obtained from Air-Deployed Drifting Buoys and Research Aircraft

View More View Less
  • 1 NOAA/Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, Hurricane Research Division, Miami, Florida
  • | 2 Naval Postgraduate School, Department of Meteorology, Monterey, California
  • | 3 National Data Buoy Center, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi
  • | 4 Naval Ocean Research and Development Activity, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi
© Get Permissions
Full access

Abstract

Three drifting buoys were successfully air-dropped ahead of Hurricane Josephine. This deployment resulted in detailed simultaneous measurements of surface wind speed, surface pressure and subsurface ocean temperature during and subsequent to storm passage. This represents the first time that such a self-consistent data set of surface conditions within a tropical cyclone has been collected. Subsequent NOAA research overflights of the buoys, as part of a hurricane planetary boundary-layer experiment, showed that aircraft wind speeds, extrapolated to the 20 m level, agreed to within ±2 m s−1, pressures agreed to within ±1 mb, and sea-surface temperatures agreed to within ±0.8°C of the buoy values. Ratios of buoy peak 1 min wind (sustained wind) to one-half h mean wind > 1.3 were found to coincide with eyewall and principal rainband features.

Buoy trajectories and subsurface temperature measurements revealed the existence of a series of mesoscale eddies in the subtropical front. Buoy data revealed storm-generated, inertia-gravity-wave motions superposed upon mean current fields, which reached a maximum surface speed > 1.2 m s−1 immediately following storm passage. A maximum mixed-layer-temperature decrease of 1.8°C was observed to the right of the storm path. A temperature increase of 3.5°C at 100 m and subsequent decrease of 4.8°C following storm passage indicated a combination of turbulent mixing, upwelling and horizontal advection processes.

Abstract

Three drifting buoys were successfully air-dropped ahead of Hurricane Josephine. This deployment resulted in detailed simultaneous measurements of surface wind speed, surface pressure and subsurface ocean temperature during and subsequent to storm passage. This represents the first time that such a self-consistent data set of surface conditions within a tropical cyclone has been collected. Subsequent NOAA research overflights of the buoys, as part of a hurricane planetary boundary-layer experiment, showed that aircraft wind speeds, extrapolated to the 20 m level, agreed to within ±2 m s−1, pressures agreed to within ±1 mb, and sea-surface temperatures agreed to within ±0.8°C of the buoy values. Ratios of buoy peak 1 min wind (sustained wind) to one-half h mean wind > 1.3 were found to coincide with eyewall and principal rainband features.

Buoy trajectories and subsurface temperature measurements revealed the existence of a series of mesoscale eddies in the subtropical front. Buoy data revealed storm-generated, inertia-gravity-wave motions superposed upon mean current fields, which reached a maximum surface speed > 1.2 m s−1 immediately following storm passage. A maximum mixed-layer-temperature decrease of 1.8°C was observed to the right of the storm path. A temperature increase of 3.5°C at 100 m and subsequent decrease of 4.8°C following storm passage indicated a combination of turbulent mixing, upwelling and horizontal advection processes.

Save