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Metrics of Hurricane-ocean Interaction: Vertically-integrated or Vertically-averaged Ocean Temperature? : Volume 5, Issue 3 (18/09/2009)

By Price, J. F.

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Book Id: WPLBN0004020392
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 18
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Metrics of Hurricane-ocean Interaction: Vertically-integrated or Vertically-averaged Ocean Temperature? : Volume 5, Issue 3 (18/09/2009)  
Author: Price, J. F.
Volume: Vol. 5, Issue 3
Language: English
Subject: Science, Ocean, Science
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection, Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


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Price, J. F. (2009). Metrics of Hurricane-ocean Interaction: Vertically-integrated or Vertically-averaged Ocean Temperature? : Volume 5, Issue 3 (18/09/2009). Retrieved from

Description: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts 02543, USA. The ocean thermal field is often represented in hurricane-ocean interaction by a metric termed upper Ocean Heat Content (OHC), the vertical integral of ocean temperature in excess of 26°C. High values of OHC have proven useful for identifying ocean regions that are especially favorable for hurricane intensification. Nevertheless, it is argued here that a more direct and robust metric of the ocean thermal field may be afforded by a vertical average of temperature. In the simplest version, dubbed T100, the averaging is from the surface to 100 m, a typical depth of vertical mixing by a category 3 hurricane. OHC and T100 are well correlated over the deep open ocean in the high range of OHC, ≥75 kJ cm−2. They are poorly correlated in the low range of OHC, ≤50 kJ cm−2, in part because OHC is degenerate when evaluated on cool ocean regions, ≤26°C. OHC and T100 can be qualitatively different also over shallow continental shelves: OHC will generally indicate comparatively low values regardless of the ocean temperature, while T100 will take on high values over a shelf that is warm and upwelling neutral or negative. In so far as the ocean thermal field alone is concerned, these warm, shallow continental shelves would appear to be as favorable for hurricane intensification as are warm, deep ocean regions.

Metrics of hurricane-ocean interaction: vertically-integrated or vertically-averaged ocean temperature?

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