Paper on the direct measurement of important air-sea interaction parameters in tropical cyclones published in the Journal of Geophysical Research

Summary:Friction is what happens when two things rub up against each other; when this happens, they release heat. When this happens in the atmosphere, we call it “dissipative heating.” Tropical cyclones (TCs) mainly gather energy from the warm ocean at the boundary layer, the region from the surface of the ocean to an altitude of about 1 km. But they can get even more energy from this dissipative heating near the surface, but we don’t yet know how this works. A tower that can watch this happening was installed near the coast when two typhoons made landfall in China. Two different ways to estimate the dissipative heating (one theoretical and one direct) were compared in order to try to understand how energy changes during landfall.

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Important Conclusions:

  1. The different parameters that are measured by the towers increase with wind speed and are larger over land than over shallow water offshore.

  2. Dissipative heating estimated using the theoretical method is generally larger than that using the direct method, and the differences is much smaller over land than over shallow water offshore.

  3. The amount of dissipative heatingover land is as large as the amount that the hurricane can get over the warm ocean. This needs to be accounted for in forecast models to help improve forecasts.

You can read the paper at