RADAR OBSERVATIONS OF HURRICANE WAVE DIRECTIONS

D.B. King, O.H. Shemdin

Abstract


This paper presents an analysis of data collected in a hurricane wave research program. The data were collected with a synthetic aperture radar (SAR) during five aircraft flights into hurricanes in August and September, 1976. These data are the first collected on the directional distributions of waves throughout the region of active generation. The wave patterns in all of the storms are similar and show a marked radially asymmetry. The dominant waves propagate ahead of the storm in a broad arc that has an apparent center in a region of confused sea to the right and rear of the hurricane eye. The asymmetry in the wave patterns is attributed to the forward motion of the storms. The wave directions throughout the storms do not show a sensitive dependence on the forward speed of the storms or on their maximum wavespeeds. However, there is an increase in peak wavelength with increasing windspeed and forward velocity.

Keywords


radar observation; hurricane; hurricane waves; wave direction

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