Menezes Viviane V.
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ArticleEvaporative implications of dry-air outbreaks over the northern Red Sea.(American Geophysical Union, 2019-04-01) Menezes, Viviane V. ; Farrar, J. Thomas ; Bower, Amy S.We investigate the impacts of westward wind events on the Red Sea evaporation using the 35‐year second Modern‐Era Retrospective analysis for Research and Applications reanalysis and a 2‐year‐long record of in situ observations from a heavily instrumented air‐sea interaction mooring. These events are common during boreal winter, and their effects are similar to cold‐air outbreaks that occur in midpolar and subpolar latitudes. They cause extreme heat loss from the sea, which is dominated by latent heat fluxes. Different from cold‐air outbreaks, the intensified heat loss is due to the low relative humidity as we show through latent heat flux decomposition. Rainfall is negligible during these events, and we refer to them as dry‐air outbreaks. We also investigate the general atmospheric circulation pattern that favors their occurrence, which is associated with an intensified Arabian High at the north‐central portion of the Arabian Peninsula—a feature that seems to be an extension of the Siberian High. The analyses reveal that the westward winds over the northern Red Sea and the winter Shamal winds in the Persian Gulf are very likely to be part of the same subsynoptic‐scale feature. The second Modern‐Era Retrospective analysis for Research and Applications reanalysis indicates that the occurrence of westward wind events over the northern Red Sea has grown from 1980 to 2015, especially the frequency of large‐scale events, the cause of which is to be investigated. We hypothesize that dry‐air outbreaks may induce surface water mass transformation in the surface Red Sea Eastern Boundary Current and could represent a significant process for the oceanic thermohaline‐driven overturning circulation.
ArticleWestward mountain-gap wind jets of the northern Red Sea as seen by QuikSCAT(Elsevier, 2018-03-19) Menezes, Viviane V. ; Farrar, J. Thomas ; Bower, Amy S.We analyse ten years of QuikSCAT satellite surface winds to statistically characterize the spatio-temporal variability of the westward mountain-gap wind jets over the northern Red Sea. These wind jets bring relatively cold and dry air from the Arabian Desert, increasing heat loss and evaporation over the region similar to cold-air outbreaks from mid and subpolar latitudes. QuikSCAT captures the spatial structure of the wind jets and agrees well with in situ observations from a heavily instrumented mooring in the northern Red Sea. The local linear correlations between QuikSCAT and in situ winds are 0.96 (speed) and 0.85 (direction). QuikSCAT also reveals that cross-axis winds such as the mountain-gap wind jets are a major component of the regional wind variability. The cross-axis wind pattern appears as the second (or third) mode in the four vector Empirical Orthogonal Function analyses we performed, explaining between 6% to 11% of the wind variance. Westward wind jets are typical in winter, especially in December and January, but with strong interannual variability. Several jets can occur simultaneously and cover a large latitudinal range of the northern Red Sea, which we call large-scale westward events. QuikSCAT recorded 18 large-scale events over ten years, with duration between 3 to 8 days and strengths varying from 3–4 to 9–10 m/s. These events cause large changes in the wind stress curl pattern, imposing a remarkable sequence of positive and negative curl along the Red Sea main axis, which might be a wind forcing mechanism for the oceanic mesoscale circulation.