AOML
NOAA

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory

Physical Oceanography Division

New Gliders Project at AOML

PhOD will lead a multi-institutional project geared towards improving seasonal forecasts of Atlantic tropical cyclones and tropical cyclone intensification using gliders.

(left) Glider. (right) The two regions (bounded with red lines) where Seagliders will be deployed. Tracks of Cat. 1-5 cyclones (in grey) in a region of the Atlantic Warm Pool during 1993-2011, with circles indicating the location of their intensification. The background color is the Tropical Cyclone Heat Potential (proportional to the upper ocean heat content).

This is a multi-institutional effort funded by NOAA that brings together the research and operational components within NOAA and some members of the university community to implement and carry out sustained and targeted ocean observations using Seagliders in the Caribbean Sea and southwestern tropical North Atlantic Ocean. The upper ocean thermal structure in this region has been linked to rapid intensification of tropical cyclones, and to the seasonal Atlantic hurricane activity. However, there are only a few (<300) upper ocean thermal observations carried out per year in this region, and sustained ocean observations are currently not in place or planned. The work will provide 4,500 to 5,500 profile observations per year during the two-year study. In addition, for the first time, current velocity profiles will be obtained from the Seagliders during the second year of the work to assist hurricane forecast models to reproduce the key ocean dynamic processes associated with tropical storm-induced surface ocean cooling. The main objectives of this work are to implement upper ocean observations from Seagliders, to evaluate their impact on and to improve: (1) hurricane intensity forecasts and (2) hurricane seasonal forecasts; using a combination of these new sustained observations, targeted observations, data analysis, and current NOAA operational forecast models. The combined expertise of the investigators involved in this project in carrying out observations, data processing, data distribution, data analysis, and numerical modeling, will be reflected in the implementation and positive outcomes of the proposed work.

The investigators and institutions involved in this project are:

  • Gustavo Goni (Principal Investigator) - NOAA Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory
  • Sang-Ki Lee (Co-Principal Investigator) - Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies, University of Miami; and NOAA/AOML
  • Walt McCall (Co-Principal Investigator) - NOAA National Data Buoy Center
  • Julio Morell (Co-Principal Investigator) - University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez
  • Hyun-Sook Kim (Co-Principal Investigator) - NOAA Environmental Modeling Center
  • Chunzai Wang (Co-Principal Investigator) - NOAA Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory
  • David Enfield (Co-Principal Investigator) - Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies, University of Miami; and NOAA/AOML
  • Eric Uhlhorn (Co-Principal Investigator) - NOAA Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory
  • Joseph Cione (Co-Principal Investigator) - NOAA Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory
  • George Halliwell (Collaborator) - NOAA Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory
  • Jorge Corredor (Collaborator) - University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez
  • Frank Muller-Karger (Collaborator) - University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez
  • Yamil Asilis (Collaborator) - Autoridad Nacional de Asuntos Maritimos, Dominican Republic
  • F. Carvajal (Collaborator) - Autoridad Nacional de Asuntos Maritimos, Dominican Republic
  • Sundararaman Gopalakrishnan (Collaborator) - NOAA Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory
  • Vijay Tallapragada (Collaborator) - NOAA Environmental Modeling Center
  • Kyle Seaton (Engineer) - Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies, University of Miami; and NOAA/AOML
  • Grant Rawson (Technical Support) - Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies, University of Miami; and NOAA/AOML
  • Francis Bringas (Data Managment) - NOAA Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory
  • Ricardo Domingues (Web support) - Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies, University of Miami; and NOAA/AOML