Ocean Dynamics

, Volume 65, Issue 5, pp 735–749 | Cite as

Ocean response to typhoon Nuri (2008) in western Pacific and South China Sea

  • Jingru Sun
  • Lie-Yauw OeyEmail author
  • Roger Chang
  • Fanghua Xu
  • Shih-Ming Huang
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on the 6th International Workshop on Modeling the Ocean (IWMO) in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada 23-27 June 2014


Typhoon Nuri formed on 18 August 2008 in the western North Pacific east of the Philippines and traversed northwestward over the Kuroshio in the Luzon Strait where it intensified to a category 3 typhoon. The storm weakened as it passed over South China Sea (SCS) and made landfall in Hong Kong as a category 1 typhoon on 22 August. Despite the storm’s modest strength, the change in typhoon Nuri’s intensity was unique in that it strongly depended on the upper ocean. This study examines the ocean response to typhoon Nuri using the Princeton Ocean Model. An ocean state accounting for the sea-surface temperature (SST) and mesoscale eddy field prior to Nuri was constructed by assimilating satellite SST and altimetry data 12 days before the storm. The simulation then continued without further data assimilation, so that the ocean response to the strong wind can be used to understand processes. It is found that the SST cooling was biased to the right of the storm’s track due to inertial currents that rotated in the same sense as the wind vector, as has previously been found in the literature. However, despite the comparable wind speeds while the storm was in western Pacific and SCS, the SST cooling was much more intense in SCS. The reason was because in SCS, the surface layer was thinner, the vorticity field of the Kuroshio was cyclonic, and moreover a combination of larger Coriolis frequency as the storm moved northward and the typhoon’s slower translational speed produced a stronger resonance between wind and current, resulting in strong shears and entrainment of cool subsurface waters in the upper ocean.


Typhoon Nuri Upper ocean response Inertial currents Resonance between wind and ocean current South China Sea Western North Pacific Ocean Near-inertial internal waves 



Comments from the reviewers and editor Dr. Miyazawa improved the manuscript. Part of this work was completed while Jingru Sun conducted her summer research at NCU, Taiwan. LYO is grateful for the award from the Taiwan’s Foundation for the Advancement of Outstanding Scholarship. The research was in part supported by the National Science Council, the Ministry of Education, and the National Central University, Taiwan. Model calculations were conducted on Tsinghua University server Tansuo100 and National Central University ATOP cluster.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jingru Sun
    • 1
  • Lie-Yauw Oey
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Roger Chang
    • 3
  • Fanghua Xu
    • 1
  • Shih-Ming Huang
    • 3
  1. 1.Center for Earth System ScienceTsinghua UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Princeton UniversityPrincetonUSA
  3. 3.National Central UniversityTaoyuan CityChina

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