Transient and local weakening of surface winds observed above the Kuroshio front in the winter East China Sea

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Abstract

To confirm whether surface winds strengthen above warm waters around oceanic fronts using in situ data, a field measurement was conducted using both expendable bathythermographs and Global Positioning System sondes released concurrently across the Kuroshio front in the East China Sea in December 2010. In contrast to previous studies mainly based on satellite observations, the finding of the present field survey is the local weakening of surface winds at the northern flank of the Kuroshio front. From the above field observation in conjunction with a regional numerical model experiment, it is suggested that the northwesterly winds crossing the Kuroshio front from the cooler side first weaken at the northern flank of the front because of the onset of upward transfer of the "nonslip" condition at the sea surface. Thereafter, as the atmospheric mixed layer with warm and humid air mass develops gradually downwind over the Kuroshio region, the surface winds are gradually accelerated by the momentum mixing with strong winds aloft. The surface winds remain strong over the cool East China Sea shelf, and it is thus considered that the surface winds only weaken at the northern flank of the Kuroshio front. However, numerical modeling indicates that this local weakening of the surface winds occurs as a transient state with a short duration and such a structure has thus rarely been detected in the long-term averaged wind fields observed by satellites. Key Points An XBT/GPS sonde observation was conducted across the Kuroshio front Local weakening of surface winds was found just above the Kuroshio front The weakening occurs at the onset of cross-frontal winds transiently

Journal

  • Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres

    Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 119(3), 1277-1291, 2014-02-16

    American Geophysical Union

Codes

  • NII Article ID (NAID)
    120005438953
  • Text Lang
    ENG
  • Article Type
    journal article
  • ISSN
    2169-897X
  • Data Source
    IR 
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