Observed strong currents under global tropical cyclones

Yu Chia Chang, Ruo Shan Tseng, Peter C. Chu, Jau Ming Chen, Luca R. Centurioni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Global data from drifters of the Surface Velocity Program (Niiler, 2001) and tropical cyclones (TCs) from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center and National Hurricane Center were analyzed to demonstrate strong ocean currents and their characteristics under various storm intensities in the Northern Hemisphere (NH) and in the Southern Hemisphere (SH). Mean TC's translation speed (Uh) is faster in the NH (~4.7 m s-1) than in the SH (~4.0 m s-1), owing to the fact that TCs are more intense in the NH than in the SH. The rightward (leftward) bias of ocean mixed-layer (OML) velocity occurs in the NH (SH). As a result of this slower Uh and thus a smaller Froude number in the SH, the flow patterns in the SH under the same intensity levels of TCs are more symmetric relative to the TC center and the OML velocities are stronger. This study provides the first characterization of the near-surface OML velocity response to all recorded TCs in the SH from direct velocity measurements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-40
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Marine Systems
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jul 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oceanography
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science


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