Bottom-Up Determination of Air-Sea Momentum Exchange Under a Major Tropical Cyclone

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Science  23 Mar 2007:
Vol. 315, Issue 5819, pp. 1707-1709
DOI: 10.1126/science.1136466

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As a result of increasing frequency and intensity of tropical cyclones, an accurate forecasting of cyclone evolution and ocean response is becoming even more important to reduce threats to lives and property in coastal regions. To improve predictions, accurate evaluation of the air-sea momentum exchange is required. Using current observations recorded during a major tropical cyclone, we have estimated this momentum transfer from the ocean side of the air-sea interface, and we discuss it in terms of the drag coefficient. For winds between 20 and 48 meters per second, this coefficient initially increases and peaks at winds of about 32 meters per second before decreasing.

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