ECMWF versus Hellermann & Rosenstein stress climatology of the Southern Ocean
A time series of wind stresses computed from European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecast (ECMWF) wind data is compared to the climatology of Hellermann & Rosenstein (HR) for the Southern Hemisphere. ECMWF stresses are generally stronger, especially in the westerly belt. However they have an overall lower meridional component than the HR data. The dominance of the half annual cycle relative to the annual wave in the zonal stress at middle to high latitudes, which is documented for independent data sets, is seen in the ECMWF but not in the HR data. ECMWF winds are also compared with measurements from three expeditions to the Weddell Sea by RV Polarstern. Good correlations between Polarstern and ECMWF winds are found but for single dates the differences are above 10 ms −1. The differences are found to be uncorrelated in space and are thus due to observational errors and to the unresolved small scale variance in the ECMWF analysed winds.(Received September 28 1990)
(Accepted October 1 1991)
Key Words: annual wave; semi-annual wave; wind stress.