Observations of the cold wake of Typhoon Fanapi (2010) Academic Article uri icon


  • Several tens of thousands of temperature profiles are used to investigate the thermal evolution of the cold wake of Typhoon Fanapi, 2010. Typhoon Fanapi formed a cold wake in the Western North Pacific Ocean on 18 September characterized by a mixed layer that was >2.5?°C cooler than the surrounding water, and extending to >80?m, twice as deep as the preexisting mixed layer. The initial cold wake became capped after 4?days as a warm, thin surface layer formed. The thickness of the capped wake, defined as the 26?°C–27?°C layer, decreased, approaching the background thickness of this layer with an e-folding time of 23?days, almost twice the e-folding lifetime of the Sea Surface Temperature (SST) cold wake (12?days). The wake was advected several hundreds of kilometers from the storm track by a preexisting mesoscale eddy. The observations reveal new intricacies of cold wake evolution and demonstrate the challenges of describing the thermal structure of the upper ocean using sea surface information alone.

publication date

  • January 28, 2013