AbstractSupertyphoon Megi (2010) left behind two very contrasting SST cold-wake cooling patterns between the Philippine Sea (1.5°C) and the South China Sea (7°C). Based on various radii of radial winds, the authors found that the size of Megi doubles over the South China Sea when it curves northward. On average, the radius of maximum wind (RMW) increased from 18.8 km over the Philippine Sea to 43.1 km over the South China Sea; the radius of 64-kt (33 m s−1) typhoon-force wind (R64) increased from 52.6 to 119.7 km; the radius of 50-kt (25.7 m s−1) damaging-force wind (R50) increased from 91.8 to 210 km; and the radius of 34-kt (17.5 m s−1) gale-force wind (R34) increased from 162.3 to 358.5 km. To investigate the typhoon size effect, the authors conduct a series of numerical experiments on Megi-induced SST cooling by keeping other factors unchanged, that is, typhoon translation speed and ocean subsurface thermal structure. The results show that if it were not for Megi’s size increase over the South China Sea, the during-Megi SST cooling magnitude would have been 52% less (reduced from 4° to 1.9°C), the right bias in cooling would have been 60% (or 30 km) less, and the width of the cooling would have been 61% (or 52 km) less, suggesting that typhoon size is as important as other well-known factors on SST cooling. Aside from the size effect, the authors also conduct a straight-track experiment and find that the curvature of Megi contributes up to 30% (or 1.2°C) of cooling over the South China Sea.
Monthly Weather Review – American Meteorological Society
Published: Mar 28, 2018
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