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Proceedings Paper

Response of sea surface properties following Gulf of Mexico hurricanes
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Paper Abstract

Hurricanes are tropical weather systems that play a significant role in the exchange of energy (heat) between the atmosphere and ocean. Sea surface temperature (SST) variability and mixed layer depth (MLD) modulates the intensity of tropical cyclones. TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI) data corresponding to five hurricanes that traversed across the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) and Caribbean Sea were analyzed for evaluating the response of upper-ocean parameters to passing hurricanes. Data on SST, rainfall, wind speed, and MLD (from HYCOM) were compared from pre- and post-storm conditions. Daily data from the satellites were extracted from TMI data archives ( and further averaged during the time of hurricanes traversing across the GOM. Pre-storm conditions were generated by averaging data from the immediate days before hurricanes entering the GOM. Fast-moving Hurricane Charley cooled the West Florida Shelf by merely ~ 0.5°C, while Hurricane Ivan came through the following month as a much larger and slow-moving storm and a cooling impact up to 2°C. SST cooling from Hurricane Ivan extended over a wider region covering most of eastern GOM. The following year, Hurricanes Dennis, Katrina, Rita, and Wilma caused substantial ocean surface cooling with an observed maximum of 3.8°C. Precipitation from the hurricanes also exceeded 2.5-3.0 mm/hr, particularly along the right side of the hurricane path. Wind speed distribution showed significant spatial variability with maximum winds observed along the eastern side of the tracks. MLD data extracted from HYCOM model archives also responded dynamically to the passing hurricanes with the cooling extended to more than 100 m water depth after a major hurricane.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 May 2019
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 11014, Ocean Sensing and Monitoring XI, 110140H (10 May 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2520277
Show Author Affiliations
Erica Terese Krueger, Florida Gulf Coast Univ. (United States)
Felix Jose, Florida Gulf Coast Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11014:
Ocean Sensing and Monitoring XI
Weilin "Will" Hou; Robert A. Arnone, Editor(s)

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