The combined Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory/University of Rhode Island coupled hurricane-ocean model has helped to improve intensity predictions during tropical storms. However, scientists have found that the model consistently under-predicts maximum wind speed in very strong hurricanes.
In the current issue of the Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, University of Rhode Island physical oceanographer Dr. Isaac Ginis describes how he and a team of scientists are refining the model by incorporating the factors that favor the formation of large eddies near the sea surface and their effect on wind speed and air humidity. Other members of the team include Alexander P. Khain and Elena Morozovsky of the Institute of Earth Sciences, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.
The authors speculate that large eddies, or circular currents of air, are a pervasive feature in tropical cyclones and suggests that they can contribute significantly to the transfer of energy, heat, and moisture from the ocean to the atmosphere.
Lisa Cugini | EurekAlert!
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