Bora event variability and the role of air-sea feedback

Pullen, J, Doyle JD, Haack T, Dorman C, Signell RP, Lee CM.  2007.  Bora event variability and the role of air-sea feedback. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 112

Date Published:

Feb 13


adriatic sea, flow, fluxes, jet


A two-way interacting high resolution numerical simulation of the Adriatic Sea using the Navy Coastal Ocean Model (NCOM) and Coupled Ocean/Atmosphere Mesoscale Prediction System (COAMPS(R)) was conducted to improve forecast momentum and heat flux fields, and to evaluate surface flux field differences for two consecutive bora events during February 2003. (COAMPS(R) is a registered trademark of the Naval Research Laboratory.) The strength, mean positions and extensions of the bora jets, and the atmospheric conditions driving them varied considerably between the two events. Bora 1 had 62% stronger heat flux and 51% larger momentum flux than bora 2. The latter displayed much greater diurnal variability characterized by inertial oscillations and the early morning strengthening of a west Adriatic barrier jet, beneath which a stronger west Adriatic ocean current developed. Elsewhere, surface ocean current differences between the two events were directly related to differences in wind stress curl generated by the position and strength of the individual bora jets. The mean heat flux bias was reduced by 72%, and heat flux RMSE reduced by 30% on average at four instrumented over-water sites in the two-way coupled simulation relative to the uncoupled control. Largest reductions in wind stress were found in the bora jets, while the biggest reductions in heat flux were found along the north and west coasts of the Adriatic. In bora 2, SST gradients impacted the wind stress curl along the north and west coasts, and in bora 1 wind stress curl was sensitive to the Istrian front position and strength. The two-way coupled simulation produced diminished surface current speeds of similar to 12% over the northern Adriatic during both bora compared with a one-way coupled simulation.