Zonal surface wind jets across the Red Sea due to mountain gap forcing along both sides of the Red Sea

Houshuo Jiang, J. Thomas Farrar, Robert C. Beardsley, Ru Chen, Changsheng Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations


[1] Mesoscale atmospheric modeling over the Red Sea, validated by in-situ meteorological buoy data, identifies two types of coastal mountain gap wind jets that frequently blow across the longitudinal axis of the Red Sea: (1) an eastward-blowing summer daily wind jet originating from the Tokar Gap on the Sudanese Red Sea coast, and (2) wintertime westward-blowing wind-jet bands along the northwestern Saudi Arabian coast, which occur every 10-20 days and can last for several days when occurring. Both wind jets can attain wind speeds over 15 m s-1 and contribute significantly to monthly mean surface wind stress, especially in the cross-axis components, which could be of importance to ocean eddy formation in the Red Sea. The wintertime wind jets can cause significant evaporation and ocean heat loss along the northeastern Red Sea coast and may potentially drive deep convection in that region. An initial characterization of these wind jets is presented. Copyright 2009 by the American Geophysical Union.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 10 2009
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): USA 00001, USA 00002, KSA 00011
Acknowledgements: This study is part of a large research project on the Red Sea initialed in 2008 by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). This short paper represents an initial contribution focusing on the Red Sea winds and is based on work supported by Award Numbers USA 00001, USA 00002, and KSA 00011 made by KAUST. We thank C. E. Dorman, S. J. Lentz, D. J. McGillicuddy, L. J. Pratt, and two anonymous reviewers for insightful comments. We thank J. Kemp, P. Bouchard, J. Smith, and B. Hogue of WHOI, the officers and crew of the R/V Oceanus, and Abdulaziz Al-Suwailem, Yasser Kattan, and Haitham Jahdali of KAUST for making the mooring work a success. HJ also acknowledges support from an Independent and Interdisciplinary Study Award provided by WHOI.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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