Observations of infrared sea surface temperature and air-sea interaction in Hurricane Edouard (2014) using GPS dropsondes

Jun A. Zhang, Joseph J. Cione, Evan A. Kalina, Eric W. Uhlhorn, Terry Hock, Jeffrey A. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


This study highlights infrared sensor technology incorporated into the global positioning system (GPS) dropsonde platforms to obtain sea surface temperature (SST) measurements. This modified sonde (IRsonde) is used to improve understanding of air-sea interaction in tropical cyclones (TCs). As part of the Sandy Supplemental Program, IRsondes were constructed and then deployed during the 2014 hurricane season. Comparisons between SSTs measured by collocated IRsondes and ocean expendables show good agreement, especially in regions with no rain contamination. Surface fluxes were estimated using measurements from the IRsondes and AXBTs via a bulk method that requires measurements of SST and near-surface (10 m) wind speed, temperature, and humidity. The evolution of surface fluxes and their role in the intensification and weakening of Hurricane Edouard (2014) are discussed in the context of boundary layer recovery. The study's result emphasizes the important role of surface flux-induced boundary layer recovery in regulating the low-level thermodynamic structure that is tied to the asymmetry of convection and TC intensity change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1333-1349
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017


  • Aircraft observations
  • Atmosphere-ocean interaction
  • Boundary layer
  • Dropsondes
  • Hurricanes/typhoons
  • Surface observations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ocean Engineering
  • Atmospheric Science


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