Overview

The ocean and atmosphere are tightly connected parts of the Earth system, and accurate and thorough observation and modeling of our coastal environment is dependent on understanding both components. To further this mission, RUCOOL operates a state of the art meteorological monitoring station along the New Jersey coast, and runs a real-time mesoscale weather model daily.

Monitoring

RUCOOL operates a Coastal Metocean Monitoring Station in the Great Bay Boulevard Wildlife Management Area, very near the Rutgers University Marine Field Station. This site houses a 12 m meteorological tower which measures a variety of standard meteorological variables (such as temperature, dewpoint, and wind speeds). Additionally, a Triton SODAR (Sound Detection and Ranging) located at the site uses sound pulses to measure a wind speed profile up to 200 m height. There is also a newly-installed Lockheed Martin WindTracer scanning wind lidar system which can measure winds throughout the atmospheric boundary layer, out to a range of 10+ km, depending on atmospheric conditions. This suite of instrumentation co-located at this site makes it one of the most advanced meteorological observing stations, ideally situated to capture the unique NJ coastal environment. Current observations from the site, along with other current meteorological data, can be found here.

Modeling

RUCOOL also operates the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) mesoscale model daily, centered over coastal New Jersey and the broader Mid-Atlantic Bight. This real-time model, which we call RU-WRF, utilizes our unique coldest-pixel sea surface temperature data that captures cold coastal upwelling better than conventional warmest-pixel methods, which often mistake cold water for clouds. This allows the model to better predict the atmospheric conditions in the coastal region. More details, and graphics from today’s model run, are available here.