SST front anchored mesoscale feature of surface wind in the southern Indian Ocean

  • Xia Huang
  • Xuhua ChengEmail author
  • Yiquan Qi


Using 28-year satellite-borne Special Sensor Microwave Imager observations, features of high-wind frequency (HWF) over the southern Indian Ocean are investigated. Climatology maps show that high winds occur frequently during austral winter, located in the open ocean south of Polar Front in subpolar region, warm flank of the Subantarctic Front between 55°E–78°E, and south of Cape Agulhas, where westerly wind prevails. The strong instability of marine atmospheric boundary layer accompanied by increased sensible and latent heat fluxes on the warmer flank acts to enhance the vertical momentum mixing, thus accelerate the surface winds. Effects of sea surface temperature (SST) front can even reach the entire troposphere by deep convection. HWF also shows distinct interannual variability, which is associated with the Southern Annual Mode (SAM). During positive phase of the SAM, HWF has positive anomalies over the open ocean south of Polar Front, while has negative anomalies north of the SST front. A phase shift of HWF happened around 2001, which is likely related to the reduction of storm tracks and poleward shift of westerly winds in the Southern Hemisphere.


High wind Southern Indian Ocean SST front Southern Annual Mode Interannual variability 



The SSM/I data used in this study are produced by Remote Sensing Systems ( The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) provides the access to the ERA-Interim datasets, which are obtained from The OI_SST_V2 data used in this study are come from We downloaded NCEP reanalysis from The ocean heat flux products were provided by the WHOI OAFlux project ( funded by the NOAA Climate Observations and Monitoring (COM) program. This research was supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (2018YFA0605702), Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant nos. 41876224, 41522601), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (2017B04714, 2017B04114), and “the strategic Priority research program” of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, (Grant no. XDA11010203).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of OceanographyHohai UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Coastal Disaster and Defence (Hohai University)Ministry of EducationNanjingChina

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