National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory

Physical Oceanography Division

Gregory Foltz


4301 Rickenbacker Causeway,
Miami, FL 33149, USA
Phone: (305) 361-4430

Research Interests

  • Role of the ocean in intraseasonal to decadal variability of tropical climate.
  • Surface salinity and its connection to climate variability and the global water cycle.
  • Tropical cyclone-ocean interaction.

Current Work

Gregory Foltz is a Principal Investigator of the PIRATA Northeast Extension, a joint AOML/PMEL project to observe and better understand climate fluctuations in the central and northeastern tropical Atlantic. Foltz is involved with several other projects, including (1) The Atlantic Meridional Mode , (2) An enhanced PIRATA data set for tropical Atlantic ocean-atmosphere research, and (3) An evaluation of the three-dimensional structure of velocity in the central equatorial Atlantic. He is an editor of the Journal of Physical Oceanography , is on the editorial board of Climate, a peer-reviewed research journal, and a member of CLIVAR's Process Study and Model Improvement Panel. Foltz is a recipient of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG) Early Career Scientist Award, given every four years for outstanding research in Earth and space sciences and for international research cooperation.



Dong, S., G. Goni, D. Volkov, R. Lumpkin, and G. R. Foltz, 2017: Near-surface salinity and temperature structure observed from dual-sensor drifters in the subtropical South Pacific. J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, submitted.

Foltz, G. R., C. Schmid, and R. Lumpkin, 2017: An enhanced PIRATA data set for tropical Atlantic ocean-atmosphere research. J. Climate, in revision.

Ma, J., R. Chadwick, K.-H. Seo, C. Dong, G. R. Foltz, and J. H. Jiang, 2017: Response of the tropical atmospheric circulation to climate change and its connection to the hydrological cycle. Ann. Rev. Earth Planet. Sci., 46, accepted.


Ma, J., G. R. Foltz, B. J. Soden, G. Huang, J. He, and C. Dong, 2016: Will surface winds weaken in response to global warming? Environ. Res. Lett., 11, 124012, doi:10.1088/1748-9326/11/12/124012. [pdf]

Balaguru, K., G. R. Foltz, L. R. Leung, and K. A. Emanuel, 2016: Global warming-induced upper-ocean freshening and the intensification of super typhoons. Nature Comm., 7, 13670, doi:10.1038/ncomms13670. [pdf]

Foltz, G. R., and K. Balaguru, 2016: Prolonged El Nino conditions in 2014-15 and the rapid intensification of Hurricane Patricia in the eastern Pacific. Geophys. Res. Lett., 43, doi:10.1002/2016GL070274. [pdf]

Rugg, A., G. R. Foltz, and R. C. Perez, 2016: Role of mixed layer dynamics in tropical North Atlantic interannual sea surface temperature variability. J. Climate, 29, 8083-8101, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-1500867.1. [pdf]

Balaguru, K., L. R. Leung, J. Lu, and G. R. Foltz, 2016: A meridional dipole in pre-monsoon Bay of Bengal tropical cyclone activity induced by ENSO. J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 121, 6954-6968, doi:10.1002/2016JD024936. [pdf]


Balaguru, K., G. R. Foltz, L. R. Leung, E. A. D'Asaro, K. A. Emanuel, H. Liu, and S. E. Zedler, 2015: Dynamic Potential Intensity: An improved representation of the ocean's impact on tropical cyclones. Geophys. Res. Lett., 42, doi:10.1002/2015GL064822. [pdf]

Foltz, G. R., C. Schmid, and R. Lumpkin, 2015: Transport of surface freshwater from the equatorial to the subtropical North Atlantic Ocean. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 45, 1086-1102, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-14-0189.1. [pdf]

Foltz, G. R., K. Balaguru, and L. R. Leung, 2015: A reassessment of the integrated impact of tropical cyclones on surface chlorophyll in the western subtropical North Atlantic. Geophys. Res. Lett., 42, 1158-1164, doi:10.1002/2015GL063222. [pdf]


Balaguru, K., S. Taraphdar, L. R. Leung, G. R. Foltz, and J. A. Knaff, 2014: Cyclone-cyclone interactions through the ocean pathway. Geophys. Res. Lett., 41, 6855-6862, doi:10.1002/2014GL061489. [pdf]

Kumar, B. P., J. Vialard, M. Lengaigne, V. S. N. Murty, G. R. Foltz, M. J. McPhaden, S. Pous, and C. de Boyer Montegut, 2014: Processes of interannual mixed layer temperature variability in the thermocline ridge of the Indian Ocean. Clim. Dyn., 43, 2377-2397, doi:10.1007/s00382-014-2059-y. [pdf]

Balaguru, K., S. Taraphdar, L. R. Leung, and G. R. Foltz, 2014: Increase in the intensity of post-monsoon Bay of Bengal tropical cyclones. Geophys. Res. Lett., 41, 3594-3601, doi:10.1002/2014GL060197. [pdf]

Amaya, D. J., and G. R. Foltz, 2014: Impacts of canonical and Modoki El Nino on tropical Atlantic SST. J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 119, 777-789, doi:10.1002/2013JC009476. [pdf]


Foltz, G. R., C. Schmid, and R. Lumpkin, 2013: Seasonal cycle of the mixed layer heat budget in the northeastern tropical Atlantic Ocean. J. Climate, 26, 8169-8188, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-13-00037.1. [pdf]

Beal, L., V. Hormann, R. Lumpkin and G. R. Foltz, 2013: The response of the surface circulation of the Arabian Sea to monsoonal forcing. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 43, 2008-2022, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-13-033.1. [pdf]

Foltz, G.R, A.T. Evan, H.P. Freitag, S. Brown, and M.J. McPhaden, 2013: Dust accumulation biases in PIRATA shortwave radiation records. J. Atmos. Ocean. Techn., 30, 1414-1432, doi:10.1175/JTECH-D-12-00169.1. [pdf]

McPhaden, M.J., and G.R. Foltz 2013: Intraseasonal variations in the surface layer of the central equatorial Indian Ocean: The importance of horizontal advection and vertical mixing. Geophys. Res. Lett., 40, doi:10.1002/grl.50536. [pdf]


Bingham, F.M., G.R. Foltz, and M.J. McPhaden, 2012: Characteristics of the seasonal cycle of surface layer salinity in the global ocean. Ocean Sci., 8, 915-929, doi:10.5194/osd-8-915-2012. [pdf]

Evan, A.T., G.R. Foltz, and D. Zhang, 2012: Physical response of the tropical-subtropical North Atlantic Ocean to decadal-multidecadal forcing by African dust. J. Climate, 25, 5817-5829, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-11-00438.1. [pdf]

Foltz, G.R., M.J. McPhaden and R. Lumpkin, 2012: A strong Atlantic Meridional Mode event in 2009: the role of mixed layer dynamics. J. Climate, 25, 363-380, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-11-00150.1. [pdf]

Hormann, V., R. Lumpkin, and G.R. Foltz, 2012: Interannual North Equatorial Countercurrent variability and its relation to tropical Atlantic climate modes. J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 117, C04035, doi:10.1029/2011JC007697. [pdf]

Perez, R. C., R. Lumpkin, W. E. Johns, G. R. Foltz, and V. Hormann, 2012: Interannual variations of Atlantic tropical instability waves. J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 117, C03011, doi:10.1029/2011JC007584. [pdf]

Wang, C., S. Dong, A. T. Evan, G.R. Foltz, and S.-K. Lee, 2012: Multidecadal covariability of North Atlantic sea surface temperature, African dust, Sahel rainfall and Atlantic hurricanes. J. Climate, 25, 5404-5414, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-11-00413.1 [pdf]


Evan, A.T., G.R. Foltz, D. Zhang, and D.J. Vimont, 2011: Influence of African dust on ocean-atmosphere variability in the tropical Atlantic. Nat. Geosci., 4, 762-765, DOI: 10.1038/NGEO1276 [pdf]


Foltz, G. R., and M. J. McPhaden, 2010: Abrupt equatorial wave-induced cooling of the Atlantic cold tongue in 2009. Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L24605, doi:10.1029/2010GL045522. [pdf]

Foltz, G. R., and M. J. McPhaden, 2010: Interaction between the Atlantic meridional and Nino modes. Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L18604, doi:10.1029/2010GL044001. [pdf]

Bingham, F. M., G. R. Foltz, and M. J. McPhaden, 2010: Seasonal cycles of surface layer salinity in the Pacific Ocean. Ocean Sci., 6, 775-787, doi:10.5194/os-6-775-2010. [pdf]

Foltz, G. R., J. Vialard, B. P. Kumar, and M. J. McPhaden, 2010: Seasonal mixed layer heat balance of the southwestern tropical Indian Ocean. J. Climate, 23, 947-965. [pdf]


McPhaden, M. J., G. R. Foltz, T. Lee, V. S. N. Murty, M. Ravichandran, G. A. Vecchi, J. Vialard, J. D. Wiggert, and L. Yu, 2009: Ocean atmosphere interactions during cyclone Nargis. Eos, Trans. Amer. Geophys. Union, 88, 53-55. [pdf]

Foltz, G. R., and M. J. McPhaden, 2009: Impact of barrier layer thickness on SST in the central tropical North Atlantic. J. Climate, 22, 285-299. [pdf]


Foltz, G. R., and M. J. McPhaden, 2008: Trends in Saharan dust and tropical Atlantic climate during 1980-2006. Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L20706, doi:10.1029/2008GL035042. [pdf]

Vialard, J., G. R. Foltz, M. J. McPhaden, J. P. Duvel, and C. de Boyer Montegut, 2008: Strong Indian Ocean sea surface temperature signals associated with the Madden-Julian oscillation in late 2007 and early 2008. Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L19608, doi:10.1029/2008GL035238. [pdf]

Foltz, G. R., and M. J. McPhaden, 2008: Impact of Saharan dust on tropical North Atlantic SST. J. Climate, 21, 5048-5060. [pdf]

Foltz, G. R., and M. J. McPhaden, 2008: Seasonal mixed layer salinity balance of the tropical North Atlantic Ocean. J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 113, C02013, doi:10.1029/2007JC004178. [pdf]


Foltz, G. R., and M. J. McPhaden, 2006: The role of oceanic heat advection in the evolution of tropical North and South Atlantic SST anomalies. J. Climate, 19, 6122-6138. [pdf]

Foltz, G. R., and M. J. McPhaden, 2006: Unusually warm sea surface temperatures in the tropical North Atlantic during 2005. Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, L19703, doi:10.1029/2006GL027394. [pdf]


Foltz, G. R., and M. J. McPhaden, 2005: Mixed layer heat balance on intraseasonal time scales in the northwestern tropical Atlantic Ocean. J. Climate, 18, 4168-4184. [pdf]


Foltz, G. R., and M. J. McPhaden, 2004: The 30-70 day oscillations in the tropical Atlantic. Geophys. Res. Lett., 31, L15205, doi:10.1029/2004GL020023. [pdf]

Foltz, G. R., S. A. Grodsky, J. A. Carton, and M. J. McPhaden, 2004: Seasonal salt budget of the northwestern tropical Atlantic Ocean along 38W. J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 109, C03052, doi:10.1029/2003JC002111. [pdf]

Foltz, G. R., J. A. Carton, and E. P. Chassignet, 2004: Tropical instability vortices in the Atlantic Ocean. J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 109, C03029, doi: 10.1029/2003JC001942. [pdf]


Foltz, G. R., S. A. Grodsky, J. A. Carton, and M. J. McPhaden, 2003: Seasonal mixed layer heat budget of the tropical Atlantic Ocean. J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 108, 3146, doi:10.1029/2002JC001584. [pdf]

Other Publications

Foltz, G. R., 2014: Satellite and in situ estimates of dust deposition in the tropical North Atlantic. Proceedings of the International Conference on Atmospheric Dust, DOI:10.14644/dust.2014.025. [pdf]

Foltz, G. R., M. J. McPhaden, T. Lee, G. C. Johnson, and M. Goes, 2012: The Tropical Ocean Observing System. U. S. IOOS Summit Community White Paper.

Foltz, G. R., 2008: Equatorial Countercurrent; Thermocline, in Philander, S. G. (Editor-in-Chief), Encyclopedia of Global Warming and Climate Change, Sage, Thousand Oaks, ISBN:9781412958783.

Foltz, G. R., and J. A. Carton, 2003: Latent Heat, Fusion, and Evaporation; Sun, Radiant Energy of, in Nybakken, J. (Editor-in-Chief), Encyclopedia of Oceanography and Marine Science, Fitzroy-Dearborn, New York.