A Global Climatology of Surface Wind and Wind Stress Fields from Eight Years of QuikSCAT Scatterometer Data

Craig M. Risien, Dudley B. Chelton
2008 Journal of Physical Oceanography  
Global seasonal cycles of the wind and wind stress fields estimated from the 8-yr record (September 1999-August 2007 of wind measurements by the NASA Quick Scatterometer (QuikSCAT) are presented. While this atlas, referred to here as the Scatterometer Climatology of Ocean Winds (SCOW), consists of 12 variables, the focus here is on the wind stress and wind stress derivative (curl and divergence) fields. SCOW seasonal cycles are compared with seasonal cycles estimated from NCEP-NCAR reanalysis
more » ... nd fields. These comparisons show that the SCOW atlas is able to capture small-scale features that are dynamically important to both the ocean and the atmosphere but are not resolved in other observationally based wind atlases or in NCEP-NCAR reanalysis fields. This is particularly true of the wind stress derivative fields in which topographic, SST gradient, and ocean current influences on surface winds are plainly visible. Discussions of five example regions are presented to highlight these seasonally recurring small-scale features. It is expected that the SCOW atlas will prove valuable to researchers conducting hydrographic and modeling studies. Corresponding author address: Craig M. Risien, College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, 104 COAS Administration Building,
doi:10.1175/2008jpo3881.1 fatcat:qbvek4mdmfetraboyif37q7a74