In the summer of 2004, the Kuroshio took a large meander path south of Japan for the first time since 1991, and this large meander event persisted until the next summer. Satellite observations and numerical model simulations are used to study the effect of this large meander event on the atmosphere. The large meander leaves a cool water pool between the Kuroshio and Japanese coast. Sea surface temperature (SST) in the cool water pool is about 2°-3°C colder than the surroundings during winter and spring, whereas the SST signature substantially weakens in summer. A local reduction of wind speed is found over the cool water pool, and the positive SST-wind speed correlation is indicative of ocean forcing of the atmosphere. Cloud liquid water (CLW) content and precipitation also decrease over the cool SST pool. A regional atmospheric model successfully simulates atmospheric response to the Kuroshio large meander. The model experiments suggest that the reduced surface wind speed and precipitation are due to the large meander-induced SST cooling. Analysis of the surface perturbation momentum budgets shows the importance of the pressure adjustment mechanism in surface wind response to the cold SST anomalies.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Atmospheric Science