Tropical Oceanic Cold Pools in Observations and Models

Piyush Garg, University of Virginia
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Description: Convective cold pools over oceans contribute to the atmosphere-ocean exchanges of heat and moisture across the globe. In the first part of this study, a new technique using gradient in remotely-sensed ocean vector winds as a proxy to identify the structure and characteristics of tropical oceanic mesoscale cold pools is developed. Using Advanced Scatterometer (ASCAT) vector wind retrievals (12.5 km field of view), regions of enhanced gradients in surface winds are identified as gradient features (GFs). In this way, first-ever observed tropical oceanic cold pool climatology is created. Once the GF technique was well-validated against buoy and a WRF model simulation, it was applied on NASA’s RapidScat scatterometer winds to obtain a diurnal climatology of cold pools in the second objective. In the third part, random forest regression was applied on a 2.5 km global Icosahedral Nonhydrostatic (ICON) model simulation to identify relationship between cold pools and their respective environment.

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