Tropical Cyclone Modeling With the Inclusion of Wave-Coupled Processes: Sea Spray and Wave Turbulence

Xingkun Xu, Joey J. Voermans, Wenqing Zhang, Biao Zhao, Fangli Qiao, Qingxiang liu, Il Ju Moon, Ivica Janekovic, Takuji Waseda, Alexander V. Babanin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Waves critically modulate the air-sea fluxes, and upper-ocean thermodynamics in a Tropical Cyclone (TC) system. This study improves the modeling of TC intensification by incorporating non-breaking wave-induced turbulence and sea spray from breaking waves into an atmosphere-ocean-wave coupled model. Notably, wind forecast error decreased by around 10% prior to TCs' peak intensity. The positive feedback of sea spray along with compensatory negative feedback from non-breaking waves, overall enhanced TCs' intensity. These breaking and non-breaking wave-coupled processes consistently cool sea surface temperature, resulting in improvement of the modeled SST. Observed improvements in full-year TC cases ranging from Categories I to IV in this study suggest that an accurate characterization of ocean wave-coupled processes is crucial for improving TCs' intensity forecasts and advancing our understanding of severe weather events in both, the atmosphere and ocean.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2023GL106536
Number of pages11
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 28 Dec 2023


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