Advances in Atmospheric Sciences

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 14–22 | Cite as

The impact of the storm-induced SST cooling on hurricane intensity

  • Tong Zhu
  • Da-Lin Zhang


The effects of storm-induced sea surface temperature (SST) cooling on hurricane intensity are investigated using a 5-day cloud-resolving simulation of Hurricane Bonnie (1998). Two sensitivity simulations are performed in which the storm-induced cooling is either ignored or shifted close to the modeled storm track. Results show marked sensitivity of the model-simulated storm intensity to the magnitude and relative position with respect to the hurricane track. It is shown that incorporation of the storm-induced cooling, with an average value of 1.3°C, causes a 25-hPa weakening of the hurricane, which is about 20 hPa per 1°C change in SST. Shifting the SST cooling close to the storm track generates the weakest storm, accounting for about 47% reduction in the storm intensity. It is found that the storm intensity changes are well correlated with the air-sea temperature difference. The results have important implications for the use of coupled hurricane-ocean models for numerical prediction of tropical cyclones.

Key words

SST feedback hurricane intensity numerical modeling 


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Copyright information

© Science Press 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tong Zhu
    • 1
  • Da-Lin Zhang
    • 2
  2. 2.Department of MeteorologyUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA

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