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Ocean signature of intense wind events in the Western Mediterranean Sea

Preprint published in 2018 by Francesco Ragone, Andrea Meli, Anna Napoli, Claudia Pasquero
This paper is available in a repository.
This paper is available in a repository.

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Preprint: policy unknown
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Postprint: policy unknown
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The Western Mediterranean Sea is often subject to intense winds, especially during the winter season. The effects of the enhanced enthalpy and momentum fluxes on the upper ocean is investigated using sea surface temperature and sea surface height observational data products in the period 1993–2014. The maximum surface cooling associated with the anomalous ocean heat loss, with upwelling, and with diapycnal mixing is shown to occur a couple of days after the intense wind event, to be dependent on the wind intensity and to persist for over a month during winter, when deep water is formed, and for about 10 days during summer, when the thermocline is very shallow. The sea surface height signal reaches a minimum in correspondence of the intense wind, and normal conditions recover in about six weeks. Unlike for intense winds in the tropics, associated to tropical cyclones, no long term sea surface height anomaly is observed, indicating that the water column heat content is not significantly modified.

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