The role of background wind and moisture in the atmospheric response to oceanic eddies during winter in the Kuroshio Extension (KE) region is examined by numerical experiments (EXPs) using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. We designed two sets of parallel experiments (dry and wet EXPs). The dry EXPs exclude the moisture in the air and the evaporation process. Each experiment differs only in the background wind speed during the initial condition. The wet EXPs include humidity in the initial condition and evaporation during the integration; the other settings are the same as the dry EXPs. The atmosphere in the two sets of EXPs are forced by the same mesoscale sea surface temperature anomaly which resembles the oceanic warm eddy in KE region. The results of these EXPs confirm that under weak background wind conditions, the atmospheric secondary circulation over oceanic eddies is driven by the pressure adjustment process due to weak advection. In the case of the dry run, the increase in background wind enhances the sea surface wind (SSW) by increasing vertical mixing. The convergence of SSW induces vertical motion and heating in the boundary layer, which further decreases the instability. The atmospheric secondary circulation in the dry run remains within the boundary layer. In wet EXPs, the atmospheric response is similar to that in dry runs when the background wind is very weak. When the background wind speed is increased to the climatology value (in KE region) or higher, the vertical motion triggers the precipitation process and diabatic heating above the boundary layer, and the heating in turn reinforces the upward flow.
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