Air-ocean characteristics during the Impact of Typhoons On The Ocean In The Pacific (ITOP) Program
Heck, Amy D.
Harr, Patrick A.
Dumas, John L.
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Interactions between a tropical cyclone (TC) and the underlying ocean environment can have significant impacts on physical mechanisms during the formation and intensification of the storm. During the summer of 2010, the Impact of Typhoons on the Ocean in the Pacific (ITOP) program was conducted to examine interactions between the ocean and TCs using a variety of experimental approaches. Specific observational assets included an array of moored buoys, two WC-130J aircraft, and a U.S. research vessel (RV Revelle). Airborne-deployed sensors included dropwindsondes, airborne expendable bathythermographs (AXBTs), Lagrangian floats, and drifters. In this thesis, AXBT observations were used to examine basic characteristics of the ocean environment during TCs that occurred during ITOP. Observations were compared to the Naval Research Laboratory East Asian Seas Nowcast Forecast System (NRL EASNS). For high ocean heat content (OHC), the model analyzed OHC was too low and for low OHC, the model analyses were too high. The largest analyzed and observed differences were found to occur in regions of TC-induced ocean changes. The significance of this comparison is the contribution to understanding the relationship between OHC and TC structure, with specific focus on the representation in the operational NRL EASNFS.
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