EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

The impact of SST front on the surface wind in the southern Indian Ocean

Xuhua Cheng
Xuhua Cheng
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 Using 28-year satellite-borne Special Sensor Microwave Imager observations, features of high-wind frequency (HWF) over

the southern Indian Ocean are investigated. Climatology maps show that high winds occur frequently during austral winter,

located in the open ocean south of Polar Front in subpolar region, warm flank of the Subantarctic Front between 55oE-78oE, 

and south of Cape Agulhas, where westerly wind prevails. The strong instability of marine atmospheric boundary layer

accompanied by increased sensible and latent heat fluxes on the warmer flank acts to enhance the vertical momentum mixing,

thus accelerate the surface winds. Effects of sea surface temperature (SST) front can even reach the entire troposphere

by deep convection. HWF also shows distinct interannual variability, which is associated with the Southern Annual Mode

(SAM). During positive phase of the SAM, HWF has positive anomalies over the open ocean south of Polar Front, while

has negative anomalies north of the SST front. A phase shift of HWF happened around 2001, which is likely related to the

reduction of storm tracks and poleward shift of westerly winds in the Southern Hemisphere.

How to cite: Cheng, X.: The impact of SST front on the surface wind in the southern Indian Ocean, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-7987,, 2020