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Metrics of Hurricane-ocean Interaction: Vertically-integrated or Vertically-averaged Ocean Temperature? : Volume 6, Issue 2 (05/05/2009)

By Price, J. F.

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Book Id: WPLBN0003978288
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 43
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Metrics of Hurricane-ocean Interaction: Vertically-integrated or Vertically-averaged Ocean Temperature? : Volume 6, Issue 2 (05/05/2009)  
Author: Price, J. F.
Volume: Vol. 6, Issue 2
Language: English
Subject: Science, Ocean, Science
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection (Contemporary), Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


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Price, J. F. (2009). Metrics of Hurricane-ocean Interaction: Vertically-integrated or Vertically-averaged Ocean Temperature? : Volume 6, Issue 2 (05/05/2009). Retrieved from

Description: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts 02543, USA. The ocean thermal field is often represented in hurricane-ocean interaction by a metric termed the upper Ocean Heat Content (OHC), the vertical integral of ocean temperature in excess of 26°C. High values of OHC have proven useful for identifying ocean regions that are especially favorable for hurricane intensification. Nevertheless, it is argued here that a more direct and robust metric of the ocean thermal field may be afforded by a vertical average of temperature, in one version from the surface to 100 m, a typical depth of vertical mixing by a mature hurricane. OHC and the depth-averaged temperature, dubbed T100, are well correlated over the deep open ocean in the high range of OHC, OHC≥75 kJ cm−2. They are poorly correlated in the low range of OHC, ≤50 kJ cm−2, in part because OHC is degenerate when evaluated on cool ocean temperatures ≤26°C. OHC and T100 can be qualitatively different also over shallow continental shelves: OHC will generally indicate comparatively low values regardless of the ocean temperature, while T100 will take on high values over a shelf that is warm and upwelling neutral or negative, since there will be little cool water that could be mixed into the surface layer. Some limited evidence is that continental shelves may be regions of comparatively small sea surface cooling during a hurricane passage, but more research is clearly required on this important issue.

Metrics of hurricane-ocean interaction: vertically-integrated or vertically-averaged ocean temperature?

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