Seo, H., A. J. Miller and J. O Roads, 2007:
The Scripps Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere Regional (SCOAR) model,
with applications in the eastern Pacific sector
Journal of Climate, 20, 381-402.
A regional coupled ocean-atmosphere model is introduced. It is designed to admit
the air-sea feedbacks arising in the presence of an oceanic mesoscale eddy field. It
consists of the Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS) and the Regional Spectral
Model (RSM). Large-scale forcing is provided by NCEP/DOE reanalysis fields, which
have physics consistent with the RSM. Coupling allows the sea surface temperature
(SST) to influence the stability of the atmospheric boundary layer and, hence, the surface
wind stress and heat flux fields. The system is denominated the Scripps Coupled Ocean-
Atmosphere Regional (SCOAR) model.
The model is tested in three scenarios in the eastern Pacific Ocean sector: tropical
instability waves of the eastern tropical Pacific; mesoscale eddies and fronts of the California
Current System; and gap winds of the Central American Coast. Recent observational
evidence suggests air-sea interactions involving the oceanic mesoscale in these
three regions. Evolving SST fronts are shown to drive an unambiguous response of the
atmospheric boundary layer in the coupled model. This results in significant model
anomalies of wind stress curl, wind stress divergence, surface heat flux and precipitation
that resemble the observations and substantiate the importance of ocean-atmosphere
feedbacks involving the oceanic mesoscale.