Rutgers University
  • Low Surface Salinity During Tropical Storm Karen

    Posted on October 3rd, 2019 Mike Crowley No comments

    During Tropical Storm Karen, there were 10 gliders deployed in the Caribbean (below). On Sep 24, the eye Karen passed over Navy glider NG278, just south of St. Croix.

    There is a good agreement in the vertical structure of temperature between GOFS 3.1 and the glider temperature (below).

    The GOFS 3.1 model, however, has a surface fresh layer (barrier layer) that is not as sharp as the observations show. This barrier layer gets even fresher and shallower during Karen (below). At the moment we are investigating if this freshening can be attributed to increased precipitation during the storm. If this is the case, this can be a mechanism that reinforces stratification during a storm and inhibits vertical mixing. We would like to investigate how important this possible mechanism is in controlling the storm intensity.

    The freshening that happened during Karen (Sep 23 – Sep 24) is not initially captured by any of the models (below).

    By Sep 26, the surface salinity in GOFS and Copernicus were much closer to the observations (both models assimilate data) but RTOFS still lags behind (below).

    Images of these daily comparisons, since the inception of the 2019 hurricane season, are available here.

  • There are a lot of gliders out there!

    Posted on October 1st, 2019 Mike Crowley No comments

    The 2019 hurricane season is in full swing in the Atlantic Ocean. Since the inception of the hurricane season on June 1, 42 ocean gliders have been deployed in the western Atlantic ocean by numerous academic, corporate and government partners. These gliders have acquired over 68,000 profiles of temperature and salinity to date. Some gliders also record data on water optics, oxygen, current speeds, pH, and wave heights. A distribution of the groups funding the deployments is shown below as well as a map of their locations.