Journal of Oceanography

, Volume 63, Issue 6, pp 953–966 | Cite as

Case study of wind jet transition and localized responses of wind wave along the pacific coast of Northern Japan by synergetic use of satellite and in situ observations

  • Teruhisa Shimada
  • Hiroshi Kawamura
Original Articles


We present a case study of low-level wind jets induced in sequence by orographic effects off the Pacific coast of northern Japan during 7–11 June 2003, and demonstrate that the transition of the wind jets causes areal differences of wave height variations along the coast. First, we describe evolution and structure of the wind jet by analyzing SeaWinds scatterometer wind measurements. Under the easterly wind, a strong wind jet formed after passing by Cape Erimo. As the wind shifted to the southeast, the wind jet started to decay. In turn, the southerly wind along the coast led to another wind jet in the lee of the easternmost tip of the Sanriku coast. We then identify onsets and decays of the wind jets from time series of wind speed at meteorological stations. Finally, we demonstrate that the transition of the wind jets has local impacts on wave height variations. Significant wave heights measured by altimeters were correlated positively with local wind energy, i.e., squares of wind speeds. Accompanying the wind jet formation/decline, significant differences of wave height variations became marked among wave observation stations located along the coast at intervals of up to 50 km.


Wind jet wind wave Cape Erimo Sanriku coast SeaWinds NOWPHAS 


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Copyright information

© The Oceanographic Society of Japan/TERRAPUB/Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ocean Environment Group, Center for Atmospheric and Oceanic Studies, Graduate School of ScienceTohoku UniversityAramaki Aza Aoba, Aoba-ku, Sendai, MiyagiJapan

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