The three-dimensional steady circulation in a homogenous ocean induced by a stationary hurricane
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Based on the classical Ekman layer theory, a simple analytical solution of the steady flow induced by a stationary hurricane in a homogenous ocean is discussed. The model consists of flow converging in an inward spiral in the deeper layer and diverging in the upper layer. The simple analytical model indicates that both the upwelling flux and the horizontal transport increase linearly with increasing radius of maximum winds. Furthermore, they both have a parabolic relationship with the maximum wind speed. The Coriolis parameter also affects the upwelling flux: the response to a hurricane is stronger at low latitudes than that at middle latitudes. Numerical solutions based on a regional version of an ocean general circulation model are similar to the primary results obtained through the analytical solution. Thus, the simplifications made in formulating the analytical solution are reasonable. Although the analytical solution in this paper is sought for a rather idealized ocean, it can help to make results from the more complicated numerical model understandable. These conceptual models provide a theoretical limit structure of the oceanic response to a moving hurricane over a stratified ocean.
Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2010. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 40 (2010): 1441–1457, doi:10.1175/2010JPO4293.1.
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