Atmospheric Sciences Editors' Highlights

What the Upper Ocean Looks Like During a Hurricane and Why It Matters

High-resolution measurements reveal the structure of the upper ocean under a hurricane and its feedback on storm intensity.

Source: AGU Advances


By Eileen Hofmann

Tropical cyclones leave cooler surface ocean temperatures in their wake, as a result of intense mixing of the upper ocean. Details of this upper ocean structure under two hurricanes are revealed in high resolution measurements presented by Sanabia and Jayne [2020]. These unique measurements, derived from a variety of sensors deployed on floats, capture the space and time variability in the across-path asymmetry in ocean mixed layer properties and show the importance of salinity in controlling this structure. The view of the upper ocean provided by these measurements allows improved understanding of that layer’s influence on the intensity of the hurricane, which in turn contributes to better forecasts of hurricane intensity.

Citation: Sanabia, E. & Jayne, S. [2020]. Ocean observations under two major hurricanes: Evolution of the response across the storm wakes. AGU Advances, 1, e2019AV000161. https://doi.org/10.1029/2019AV000161

—Eileen Hofmann, Editor, AGU Advances

Text © 2020. The authors. CC BY-NC-ND 3.0
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