Numerical study of the storm-induced circulation on the Scotian Shelf during Hurricane Juan using a nested-grid ocean model

J. Sheng, X. Zhai, R.J. Greatbatch

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A nested-grid ocean circulation modelling system is used to assess the upper ocean response of the Scotian Shelf and adjacent slope to Hurricane Juan in September 2003. The nested-grid system consists of a fine-grid inner model covering the Scotian Shelf/slope and a coarse-grid outer model covering the northwest Atlantic Ocean. The model-calculated upper ocean response to Hurricane Juan is characterized by large divergent surface currents forced by the local wind forcing under the storm, and intense near-inertial currents in the wake of the storm. The sea surface temperature (SST) cooling produced by the model is biased to the right of the storm track and agrees well with a satellite-derived analysis. Over the deep water, off the Scotian Shelf, some of the near-inertial energy input by the storm is advected eastward by the Gulf Stream away from the storm track. The hurricane also generates shelf waves that propagate equatorward with the coastline on their right. In comparison with the outer model results, the inner model captures more meso-scale structures, greater SST cooling and stronger near-inertial currents in the study region.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-254
Number of pages22
JournalProgress in Oceanography
Issue number2-4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2006


  • storm-induced circulation
  • Nested-grid model
  • Scotian Shelf
  • Inertial currents
  • Surface cooling
  • Shelf waves
  • Geostrophic advection

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