Hurricane Response

Gulf of Mexico Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model (GoM-HYCOM)
Hurricane Response (Animation)

Gulf of Mexico runs are being used to study the ocean response to hurricanes in a region with complex oceanographic features (Loop Current and eddies). This work is necessary to improve ocean model performance, which can potentially lead to improved hurricane intensity forecasts by coupled hurricane forecast models.

Animation loop of how sea surface temperature responds to the storm.

Comparison of Sea Surface Temperature (SST) before and after hurricane Ivan between a GoM-HYCOM simulation and infrared satellite measurements. The two cold spots are regions where the supply of heat from the ocean to the storm is reduced, which acts to reduce storm intensity. They form where two cyclonic, cold-core eddies (blue spots, top panel) exist when the storm hits. The upper ocean warm layer is very thin over these features, allowing the storm to efficiently mix deeper cold water up to the surface.

George Halliwell —
Villy Kourafalou —