Parameterization of synoptic weather systems in the South Atlantic Bight for modeling applications

Abstract

An event based, long-term, climatological analysis is presented that allows the creation of coastal ocean atmospheric forcing on the coastal ocean that preserves both frequency of occurrence and event time history. An algorithm is developed that identifies individual storm event (cold fronts, warm fronts, and tropical storms) from meteorological records. The algorithm has been applied to a location along the South Atlantic Bight, off South Carolina, an area prone to cyclogenesis occurrence and passages of atmospheric fronts. Comparison against daily weather maps confirms that the algorithm is efficient in identifying cold fronts and warm fronts, while the identification of tropical storms is less successful. The average state of the storm events and their variability are represented by the temporal evolution of atmospheric pressure, air temperature, wind velocity, and wave directional spectral energy. The use of uncorrected algorithm-detected events provides climatologies that show a little deviation from those derived using corrected events. The effectiveness of this analysis method is further verified by numerically simulating the wave conditions driven by the characteristic wind forcing and comparing the results with the wave climatology that corresponds to each storm type. A high level of consistency found in the comparison indicates that this analysis method can be used for accurately characterizing event-based oceanic processes and long-term storm-induced morphodynamic processes on wind-dominated coasts.

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Acknowledgements

Part of the material presented in this manuscript is based upon work performed by George Voulgaris with the support of and while serving at the National Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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Correspondence to Xiaodong Wu.

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Responsible Editor: Anthony C Hirst

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Wu, X., Voulgaris, G. & Kumar, N. Parameterization of synoptic weather systems in the South Atlantic Bight for modeling applications. Ocean Dynamics 67, 1231–1249 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10236-017-1084-x

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Keywords

  • Storm classification
  • Cold fronts
  • Warm fronts
  • Tropical storms
  • South Atlantic Bight
  • Event-based climatology
  • Morphodynamic factor