Interactions Between a Marine Heatwave and Tropical Cyclone Amphan in the Bay of Bengal in 2020

Saurabh Rathore, Rishav Goyal, Babita Jangir, Caroline C. Ummenhofer, Ming Feng, Mayank Mishra
2022 Frontiers in Climate  
Interactions are diagnosed between a marine heatwave (MHW) event and tropical super cyclone Amphan in the Bay of Bengal. In May 2020, an MHW developed in the Bay of Bengal driven by coupled ocean-atmosphere processes which included shoaling of the mixed layer depth due to reduced wind speed, increased net surface shortwave radiation flux into the ocean, increased upper ocean stratification, and increased sub-surface warming. Ocean temperature, rather than salinity, dominated the stratification
more » ... hat contributed to the MHW development and the subsurface ocean warming that also increased tropical cyclone heat potential. The presence of this strong MHW with sea surface temperature anomalies >2.5°C in the western Bay of Bengal coincided with the cyclone track and facilitated the rapid intensification of tropical cyclone Amphan to a super cyclone in just 24 h. This rapid intensification of a short-lived tropical cyclone, with a lifespan of 5 days over the ocean, is unprecedented in the Bay of Bengal during the pre-monsoon period (March-May). As the cyclone approached landfall in northern India, the wind-induced mixing deepened the mixed layer, cooled the ocean's surface, and reduced sub-surface warming in the bay, resulting in the demise of the MHW. This study provides new perspectives on the interactions between MHWs and tropical cyclones that could aid in improving the current understanding of compound extreme events that have severe socio-economic consequences in affected countries.
doi:10.3389/fclim.2022.861477 fatcat:7eizw3prljajhefmxyudelvrq4