Satellite Observations of the Sea Surface Salinity Response to Tropical Cyclones
[16-Jan-2021] Reul, N., Chapron, B., Grodsky, S., Guimbard, S., Kudryavtsev, V., Foltz, G., and Balaguru, K. For strong storms, both sea surface salinity (SSS) and sea surface temperature (SST) wakes develop to the right of storm's track. The present global satellite-based analysis also emphasizes the influences of salt-stratified barrier layers. As anticipated and unambiguously revealed, SSS and SST responses to tropical cyclones (TCs) do not behave similarly in such conditions. In particular, we found reduced SST cooling and increased SSS salinification after the passage of TCs over thick barrier layers. To first-order, satellite SSS can thus inform about the expected resulting strength of hurricane-induced mixing and upwelling, and should be incorporated into metrics of TC-induced SST cooling. It is also found that barrier layers lead to saltier and warmer storm wakes compared to wakes produced over barrier layer free areas.