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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atmospheric Science