A numerical study of interannual wind forcing effects on the California Current System, 1980-1983
Haines, Robert T.
Batteen, Mary L.
McClean, Julie L.
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A high resolution, multi-level, primitive equation ocean model is used to examine the response of an idealized, flat-bottomed, eastern boundary oceanic regime on a beta-plane to climatological average (1980-1989) and individual yearly (1980-1983) wind forcing. The focus of this study is the California Current System (CCS) along the coastal region, from 35 deg N to 47.5 deg N, of the Western United States. Five experiments were initialized from a state of rest and two from the fields remaining at day 360 from the climatological average wind forcing. With the climatological average wind forcing, a surface equatorward jet and poleward undercurrent are generated. Eddies form along the entire eastern boundary and a field of cyclonic eddies approximately 200 km in diameter remain at day 360. Results for the non-El Nino (1980-1981) years are very similar to the results for the climatological average wind forcing. Early in the year, the El Nino wind fields for 1983 are more intense than the average and 1980-1982 winds, and they have a much stronger poleward component. A surface poleward current develops over an equatorward undercurrent
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