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Atmosphere 2018, 9(8), 301;

Influence of Wave State and Sea Spray on the Roughness Length: Feedback on Medicanes

CNR/ISAC Unit of Lecce, 73100 Lecce, Italy
CNR/ISMAR Unit of Genova, 16149 Genova, Italy
CNR/ISMAR Unit of Venezia, 30122 Venezia, Italy
Università Politecnica delle Marche, UNIVPM/DIISM, 60121 Ancona, Italy
Departamento de Física, Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, 97105-900 Santa Maria (RS), Brazil
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 June 2018 / Revised: 26 July 2018 / Accepted: 28 July 2018 / Published: 1 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mediterranean Tropical-Like Cyclones (Medicanes))
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Occasionally, storms that share many features with tropical cyclones, including the presence of a quasi-circular “eye” a warm core and strong winds, are observed in the Mediterranean. Generally, they are known as Medicanes, or tropical-like cyclones (TLC). Due to the intense wind forcings and the consequent development of high wind waves, a large number of sea spray droplets—both from bubble bursting and spume tearing processes—are likely to be produced at the sea surface. In order to take into account this process, we implemented an additional Sea Spray Source Function (SSSF) in WRF-Chem, model version 3.6.1, using the GOCART (Goddard Chemistry Aerosol Radiation and Transport) aerosol sectional module. Traditionally, air-sea momentum fluxes are computed through the classical Charnock relation that does not consider the wave-state and sea spray effects on the sea surface roughness explicitly. In order to take into account these forcing, we implemented a more recent parameterization of the sea surface aerodynamic roughness within the WRF surface layer model, which may be applicable to both moderate and high wind conditions. The implemented SSSF and sea surface roughness parameterization have been tested using an operative model sequence based on COAWST (Coupled Ocean Atmosphere Wave Sediment Transport) and WRF-Chem. The third-generation wave model SWAN (Simulating Waves Nearshore), two-way coupled with the WRF atmospheric model in the COAWST framework, provided wave field parameters. Numerical simulations have been integrated with the WRF-Chem chemistry package, with the aim of calculating the sea spray generated by the waves and to include its effect in the Charnock roughness parametrization together with the sea state effect. A single case study is performed, considering the Medicane that affected south-eastern Italy on 26 September 2006. Since this Medicane is one of the most deeply analysed in literature, its investigation can easily shed some light on the feedbacks between sea spray and drag coefficients. View Full-Text
Keywords: medicanes; air-sea interaction; sea spray; sea surface roughness; COAWST medicanes; air-sea interaction; sea spray; sea surface roughness; COAWST

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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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Rizza, U.; Canepa, E.; Ricchi, A.; Bonaldo, D.; Carniel, S.; Morichetti, M.; Passerini, G.; Santiloni, L.; Scremin Puhales, F.; Miglietta, M.M. Influence of Wave State and Sea Spray on the Roughness Length: Feedback on Medicanes. Atmosphere 2018, 9, 301.

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