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Scales of North Atlantic wind stress curl determined from the comprehensive ocean-atmosphere data setNineteen years of wind data over the North Atlantic are used to calculate a field of wind stress curl. An empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis is performed on this field, resulting in spatial patterns of wind stress curl and associated time series. A Monte Carlo technique is used to establish the statistical significance of each spatial pattern, and the associated time series are spectrally analyzed. The first four statistically significant EOF modes represent more than 50 percent of the curl variance, and the spatial patterns of curl associated with these modes exhibit the major elements of North Atlantic climatology. Most of the time series spectral variance is contained in annual and semiannual frequencies. The features observed include the individual annual variation of the subtropical high and the subpolar low, the annual oscillation of intensity between pressure centers, the influence of localized strong SST gradients and associated cyclogenesis regions, and the constant nature of the trades.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Ehret, Laura L. (U.S. Navy, Institute for Naval Oceanography, Bay Saint Louis MS, United States)
O'Brien, James J. (Florida State University Tallahassee, United States)
Date Acquired
August 14, 2013
Publication Date
January 15, 1989
Publication Information
Publication: Journal of Geophysical Research
Volume: 94
ISSN: 0148-0227
Subject Category
Distribution Limits