Turbulent fluxes in the hurricane boundary layer. Part I: Momentum flux

Jeffrey R. French, William M. Drennan, Jun A. Zhang, Peter G. Black

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

147 Scopus citations


An important outcome from the ONR-sponsored Coupled Boundary Layer Air-sea Transfer (CBLAST) Hurricane Program is the first-ever direct measurements of momentum flux from within hurricane boundary layers. In 2003, a specially instrumented NOAA P3 aircraft obtained measurements suitable for computing surface wind stress and ultimately estimating drag coefficients in regions with surface wind between 18 and 30 m s-1. Analyses of data are presented from 48 flux legs flown within 400 m of the surface in two storms. Results suggest a roll-off in the drag coefficient at higher wind speeds, in qualitative agreement with laboratory and modeling studies and inferences of drag coefficients using a log-profile method. However, the amount of roll-off and the wind speed at which the roll-off occurs remains uncertain, underscoring the need for additional measurements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1089-1102
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the Atmospheric Sciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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