The representation of transient air-sea interactions is critical to the prediction of the sea surface temperature diurnal cycle and daily variability. This study develops a multilevel upper ocean model to more realistically resolve these interactions. The model is based on the one-dimensional turbulence kinetic energy closure developed by Noh et al. , and incorporates new numerical techniques and improved schemes for model physics. The primary improvements include: (1) a surface momentum flux penetration scheme to better depict velocity shear in the diurnal mixed layer; (2) a solar penetration scheme to improve the penetration of visible and near-infrared bands of solar radiation into the mixed layer ocean; (3) a scheme to resolve the cool-skin and warm-layer effects on sea skin temperature; (4) a vertical grid stretch scheme to achieve higher near-surface resolution with fewer vertical levels; (5) a trapezoidal time integration scheme for flexible time steps; (6) a relaxation term of the previous daily mean difference between observed and modeled sea surface temperature. According to the numerical experiments based on the TOGA-COARE IMET mooring buoy data and the validation by observations from the National Data Buoy Center, NOAA, the results indicate that the new upper ocean mixed layer model improves the simulation of the diurnal cycle of SST and sea skin temperature, especially in amplitude.
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