10 Mar 2022
10 Mar 2022
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Upper Ocean Response on the Passage of Tropical Cyclones in the Azores Region

Miguel Mendes Lima1, Célia Marina Gouveia1,2, and Ricardo Machado Trigo1,3 Miguel Mendes Lima et al.
  • 1Instituto Dom Luiz (IDL), Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade de Lisboa, 1749-016, Lisboa, Portugal
  • 2Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera (IPMA), I.P., 1749-077, Rua C do Aeroporto, Lisboa, Portugal
  • 3Departamento de Meteorologia, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro 21941-919, Brasil

Abstract. Tropical Cyclones (TCs) are extreme climate events that are known to strongly interact with the ocean through two mechanisms: dynamically through the associated intense wind stress, and thermodynamically through moist enthalpy exchanges at the ocean surface. These interactions contribute to relevant oceanic responses after the passage of a TC, namely the induction of a cold wake and the production of chlorophyll (chl-a) blooms. This study aimed to understand these interactions in the Azores region, an area with relatively low cyclonic activity for the North Atlantic basin, since the area experiences much less intense events than the rest of the basin. Results for the 1998–2020 period showed that the averaged induced anomalies were on the order of +0.026 mg/m3 for the chl-a and -1.554 K for SST. Furthermore, looking at the role played by several TCs characteristics we found that the intensity of the TCs was the most important condition for the development of upper ocean responses. Two other analysed conditions were the TC’s translation speeds and the impacted areas, which also showed to be positively affecting the registered induced anomalies. Two case studies (Ophelia, in 2017, and Nadine, in 2012) were conducted to better understand each upper ocean response. Ophelia showed to affect the SST at an earlier stage while the biggest chl-a induced anomalies were registered at a later stage, allowing the conclusion that thermodynamic exchanges conditioned the SST more while dynamical mixing played a more important role in the later stage. Nadine showed the importance of the TC track geometry, revealing that the TC track observed in each event can impact a specific region for longer, and therefore induce greater anomalies.

Miguel Mendes Lima et al.

Status: open (until 05 May 2022)

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Miguel Mendes Lima et al.

Miguel Mendes Lima et al.

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Short summary
This article aimed to explore the interaction between tropical cyclones and the ocean on a relatively less studied regarding these events. Tropical cyclones generally create an area of colder waters behind, which in turn can contribute to an increase in biological activity. We found that, for the Azores region, the intensity and track geometry of the cyclones are the most important factors to determine these responses. On the other hand, the speed of the cyclone was less important.