Sun, R. A. B. Villas Boas, A. C. Subramanian, B. D.
Cornuelle, M. R. Mazloff, A. J. Miller, S. Langodan and
I. Hoteit, 2022:
Focusing and defocusing of tropical cyclone generated
waves by ocean current refraction
Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans, 127, e2021JC018112.
Waves generated by tropical cyclones can have devastating ects on coastal regions. However,
the role of ocean currents in modifying wave amplitudes, wavelengths, and directions
is commonly overlooked in wave forecasts, despite the fact that these interactions
can lead to extreme wave conditions. Here, we use satellite observations and wave modeling
to quantify the ects of ocean currents on the surface waves generated during a
tropical cyclone event in the Arabian Sea. As a case study, this paper documents coherent
beams of wave heights originating from the eyewall of a tropical cyclone caused by
current-induced refraction. Alternating regions of high and low wave heights in the model
simulations are consistent with observations and extend for thousands of kilometers all
the way to 100 m isobath. Our results highlight the importance of accounting for wave
refraction by currents in order to accurately predict the impact of tropical cyclone
generated waves on coastal regions.