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Atmospheric Response to Oceanic Cold Eddies West of Luzon in the Northern South China Sea

School of Atmospheric Sciences, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2019, 10(5), 255;
Received: 2 March 2019 / Revised: 27 April 2019 / Accepted: 3 May 2019 / Published: 8 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advancements in Mesoscale Weather Analysis and Prediction)
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Using the compositing method, two kinds of sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies associated with mesoscale ocean eddies and their effects on the atmosphere over the northern South China Sea were investigated. We focused on Luzon cold eddies (LCEs), which form during the winter monsoon and occur repeatedly to the west of Luzon Island, where a SST front exists. Using satellite and reanalysis data, 20 LCEs from 2000–2016 were classified into two types according to their impact on the atmosphere. One type consisted of cold SST anomalies within the eddy interior; subsequent turbulent heat flux and surface wind speed decreased over the cold core, presenting a monopole pattern. The second type comprised SST anomalies on either side of the eddy, which mostly propagated along the SST front. For this type of LCEs, cyclonic eddy currents acting on the SST front led to the SST anomalies. They produced a dipole, with surface wind deceleration and acceleration over negative and positive SST anomalies, respectively, on either side of the eddy’s flank. Dynamically, for both types of LCE, a vertical mixing mechanism appeared to be responsible for the wind anomalies. Moreover, anomalous vertical circulations developed over the LCEs that extended over the whole boundary layer and penetrated into the free atmosphere, leading to an anomalous convective rain rate. Quantitatively, the surface wind speed changed linearly with SST; atmospheric anomalies related to LCEs explained 5%–14% of the total daily variance. View Full-Text
Keywords: mesoscale ocean eddies; air–sea interaction; atmospheric responses; South China Sea mesoscale ocean eddies; air–sea interaction; atmospheric responses; South China Sea

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Liu, H.; Chen, S.; Li, W.; Fang, R.; Li, Z.; Wu, Y. Atmospheric Response to Oceanic Cold Eddies West of Luzon in the Northern South China Sea. Atmosphere 2019, 10, 255.

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