Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography & Institute for Coastal Adaptation and Resilience

Fall 2021 Virtual Seminar Series


Johna Rudzin
Mississippi State University

Monday, October 25, 2021
3:30 PM

Zoom link
Passcode: 608696


Air-sea exchange is an incredibly complex research area that takes multidisciplinary efforts to understand the interactions that occur. Air-sea exchanges within a hostile environment, such as a tropical cyclone (TC), are even further complex and, thus, one of the reasons that make it so fascinating. Growing up in the islands of the Florida Keys, I experienced firsthand the power of these strong storms and the influence they leave behind. More fascinating to me was the ocean's role in these storms – how the ocean could intensify or weaken a system just by its temperature. Accordingly, the last seven years of my research has been devoted to understanding ocean processes during tropical cyclone passage and how they influence air-sea exchange and tropical cyclone intensity. Pioneering research in the 1960's demonstrated the ocean was the key heat source to a TC through the mechanism of air-sea fluxes. Most recent literature within the last 20 years has shed light on the importance of subsurface ocean structure, ocean currents, and ocean waves and how these modulate air-sea fluxes during intense wind-forcing. Understanding the links from the bottom of the ocean mixed layer to the top of the atmospheric boundary layer is crucial to understand the coupled problem. Yet, many attempts at understanding air-sea interaction are made within one boundary layer or the other and not investigated holistically. Atmospheric literature indicates the importance of SST to atmospheric boundary layer instability within TC environments but neglects examination of ocean processes that mitigate SST and air-sea flux into the boundary layer. Ocean literature thoroughly examines ocean processes within the context of TC environment, but few examine how these implications extend into the atmospheric boundary layer. Hence, a need exists for an all-inclusive examination of both atmospheric and oceanic processes to fully examine air-sea exchange and related boundary layer processes in TC environments.


Dr. Johna Rudzin is an assistant professor in the Department of Geosciences at Mississippi State University with joint affiliation with the Northern Gulf Institute. She received her Ph.D. in Meteorology and Physical Oceanography at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School for Marine and Atmospheric Science in 2018. She is interested in tropical cyclone-ocean interaction, particularly in understanding the complex relationships between the ocean and atmospheric boundary layer during intensity change, including but not limited to, atmospheric and oceanic boundary layer dynamics and thermodynamics, drag in extreme wind environments, and oceanic waves. She has a broad range of experience utilizing atmospheric and oceanic in situ and satellite observations, simple idealized models, and fully coupled atmospheric-oceanic tropical cyclone models. In addition to utilizing a variety of datasets, she has also participated in several research flights and cruises.

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