Laboratory measurements of heat transfer and drag coefficients at extremely high wind speeds

Satoru Komori*, Koji Iwano, Naohisa Takagaki, Ryo Onishi, Ryoichi Kurose, Keiko Takahashi, Naoya Suzuki

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Heat and momentum transfer across the wind-driven breaking air-water interface at extremely high wind speeds was experimentally investigated using a high-speed wind-wave tank. An original multi-heatbalance method was utilized to directly measure latent and sensible heat transfer coefficients. The results show that both heat transfer coefficients level off at low and normal wind speeds but increase sharply at extremely high wind speeds. The coefficients have a similar shape for wind speeds at a height of 10m. Therefore, the wind speed dependence on the latent and sensible heat transfer coefficients can be represented by that of the enthalpy coefficient even in the extremely high-speed region. To show how significantly the drag and enthalpy coefficients affect the intensity of tropical cyclones, the coefficients were applied to Emanuel's analytic model. The analytic model shows that the difference between the present laboratory and conventional correlations significantly affects the maximum storm intensity predictions, and the present laboratory enthalpy and drag coefficients have the remarkable effect on intensity promotion at extremely high wind speeds. In addition, the simulations of strong tropical cyclones using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model with the present and conventional correlations are shown for reference in the appendix. The results obtained from the models suggest that it is of great importance to propose more reliable correlations, verified not only by laboratory but also by field experiments at extremely high wind speeds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)959-974
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Physical Oceanography
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Apr 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Hurricanes/typhoons
  • Latent heating/cooling
  • Sensible heating
  • Tropical cyclones
  • Wave breaking
  • Wind waves

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography


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