Evaporative implications of dry-air outbreaks over the northern Red Sea.

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DOI
10.1029/2018JD028853
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Keywords
Latent heat flux
Heat loss
Outbreak
Saudi Arabian High
MERRA‐2
Shamal
Abstract
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.
Description
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2019. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres, 124(9), (2019): CP3-4861, doi: 10.1029/2018JD028853.
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Citation
Menezes, V. V., Farrar, J. T., & Bower, A. S. (2019). Evaporative implications of dry-air outbreaks over the northern Red Sea. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres, 124(9), CP3-4861.
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