Evaluation of upper ocean mixing parameterizations for use in coupled models

S. Daniel Jacob, D. M. Le Vine, L. K. Shay, G. R. Halliwell, C. Lozano, A. Mehra

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Simulations of upper ocean response to hurricanes Gilbert, Isidore and Lili are performed for the different upper ocean mixing schemes as more than 80% of the observed upper ocean cooling is due to entrainment mixing parameterized by the models. While comparisons of the simulated results to observations in the Gilbert case indicate a better fit for higher order KPP and MY schemes, MY and to a lesser extent GISS schemes are seen to be more consistent for all the three storms. In general, all the higher order schemes seem to perform better than the KT and PWP schemes. Due to the inaccurate initial conditions, the statistics are only preliminary in the Isidore and Lili cases. Additionally, while the computational speeds for all the schemes are comparable, the GISS scheme is the fastest in our experiments. Based on the comparison statistics the MY scheme would be the more appropriate scheme for use in the ocean component of the coupled system followed by the GISS scheme. Ocean model initial conditions need to be validated on a regular basis for a better representation of the ocean in the coupled intensity prediction models as the oceanic thermal structure also significantly affects the observed cooling. These conclusions are constrained by the inaccurate initial conditions during Isidore and Lili. Even with satisfactory initial conditions for Isidore and Lili we have only considered three storms and the sample size is still small. Evaluation of these schemes also requires ocean only simulations due to the other uncertainties that are introduced because of inaccurate forcing from the atmospheric component. Past observations may be used with realistic forcing and initial conditions to further improve the statistical base of comparisons along with routine future observations to evaluate the ocean component on a post-hurricane season basis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006
Event27th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology - Monterey, CA, United States
Duration: Apr 24 2006Apr 26 2006


Other27th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityMonterey, CA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Global and Planetary Change


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