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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  27 Oct 2020

27 Oct 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal NHESS.

Oceanic response to the consecutive Hurricanes Dorian and Humberto (2019) in the Sargasso Sea

Dailé Avila-Alonso1,2, Jan M. Baetens2, Rolando Cardenas1, and Bernard De Baets2 Dailé Avila-Alonso et al.
  • 1Laboratory of Planetary Science, Department of Physics, Universidad Central “Marta Abreu" de Las Villas, 54830, Santa Clara, Villa Clara, Cuba
  • 2KERMIT, Department of Data Analysis and Mathematical Modelling, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, 9000 Ghent, Belgium

Abstract. Understanding the oceanic response to tropical cyclones (TCs) is of importance for studies on climate change. Although the oceanic effects induced by individual TCs have been extensively investigated, studies on the oceanic response to the passage of consecutive TCs are rare. In this work, we assess the upper oceanic response to the passage of the Hurricanes Dorian and Humberto over the western Sargasso Sea in 2019 using satellite remote sensing and modelled data. We found that the combined effects of these slow-moving TCs led to an increased oceanic response during the third and fourth post-storm weeks of Dorian (accounting for both Dorian and Humberto effects) because of the induced mixing and upwelling at this time. Overall, anomalies of sea surface temperature, ocean heat content and mean temperature from the sea surface to a depth of 100 m were a 50, 63 and 57% smaller (more negative) in the third/fourth post-storm weeks than in the first/second poststorm weeks (accounting only for Dorian effects) of Dorian, respectively, while surface chlorophyll-a (chl-a) concentration anomalies, the mean ch-a concentration in the euphotic zone and the chl-a concentration in the deep chlorophyll maximum were 16, 4 and 16% higher in the third/fourth post-storm weeks than in the first/second post-storm weeks, respectively. The sea surface cooling and increased biological response induced by these TCs were significantly higher (Mann-Whitney test p < 0.05) as compared to climatological records. Our climatological analysis reveals that the strongest TC-induced oceanographic variability in the western Sargasso Sea can be associated with the occurrence of consecutive TCs and long-lasting TC forcing.

Dailé Avila-Alonso et al.

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Dailé Avila-Alonso et al.

Dailé Avila-Alonso et al.


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