Impact of a warm core eddy on near-surface wind at Brazil-Malvinas Confluence region in high resolution simulations

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Joao AUGUSTO Hackerott1, Michel dos Santos Mesquita2, Ricardo de Camargo1 and Luciano P. Pezzi3, (1)USP University of Sao Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil, (2)Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, Bergen, Norway, (3)INPE National Institute for Space Research, Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil
Several studies show that near surface winds acquire anticyclonic (cyclonic) vorticity and accelerate (decelerate) when flow in the same direction as positive (negative) orientation of the Sea Surface Temperature (SST) gradient. Many of them were made over different oceanic thermal fronts in the world analyzing contrasts in SST gradients. However, still remains much uncertainty about how strong is this wind modulation, particularly on areas in need of studies and in-situ data, such as the Brazil-Malvinas Confluence Region (BMC) where intense SST gradients are found. This study brings results of the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model simulations, configured with nested grids, where it is compared the influence of distinct synoptic patterns observed at BMC where three different SST patterns are imposed to WRF. These patterns are: (1) with a typical smoothed SST field, named as Control; (2) Small Eddy, which is the same as Control but adding an eddy of 1° radius and a +2°C amplitude; and (3) Intense Eddy, which is also the same as Control, but where an eddy of 1° radius and +4°C amplitude is added. The artificial imposed eddy is analogous to the SST patterns observed at BMC, with different intensities. The simulations were integrated for 76 hours using initial and lateral boundary conditions from the Global Forecast System (GFS) model with 0.5° resolution. The results showed that the wind at 10m height is influenced by the diurnal cycle of turbulence in the Marine Atmospheric Boundary Layer (MABL) modified by variations in SST. The wind magnitude changes up to 1m.s-1 over a 4/50°C.km-1 SST gradient and 0.6m.s-1 over a 2/50°C.km-1 SST gradient. This effect generates meso-scale disturbances that propagate to larger scales leading to disturbances in remote areas. Thus, the preliminary analyses are suggesting that there is an interaction between the meso and synoptic scale playing a role. Mechanisms such this one might not be captured by atmospheric global models used in low spatial resolution. Often, that is the case seen on operational models.