Evolution of diurnal surface winds and surface currents for Monterey Bay
Foster, Michael D.
Wash, Carlyle H.
Paduan, Jeffrey D.
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The diurnal-period fluctuations of winds and surface currents are analyzed for September 1992 in and around Monterey Bay. Wind records are compared for three coastal stations and two mooring sites. Remotely-sensed surface current observations from two CODAR (HF radar) sites are used to explore the ocean's response to diurnal-period forcing. An average diurnal cycle is formed at each wind station and at all CODAR bins. The earliest sea breeze response is seen at the coastal wind stations where morning winds accelerate toward the coastal mountain ranges. A few hours later, the coastal winds accelerate to the southeast down the Salinas Valley. Offshore afternoon winds rotate from their normal alongshore orientation to also become aligned with the valley. The CODAR-derived surface currents respond in less than the two-hour sampling rate to the onset of the diurnal onshore winds. Currents accelerate in the direction of the Salinas Valley. As the day progresses, the more offshore currents rotate clockwise out from under the winds in a possible Ekman or inertial adjustment that continues throughout the night and spreads onshore. In the afternoon, a complicated eddy pattern develops near shore in a possible response to the coastal boundary.
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