Ocean Glider RU29 Monitors Ocean Ahead of Tropical Storm Bret
June 23, 2023
Ocean Glider RU29, belonging to Rutgers University, is stationed in the passage between St. Lucia and Martinique awaiting the arrival of Tropical Storm Bret. The glider has been carrying out a mission to improve ocean models for hurricane forecasting and study heat and fresh water transport in the region around the Windward Islands. It is part of the International Challenger Glider Mission sponsored by the G. Unger Vetlesen Foundation with ocean scientists from Rutgers University and the University of the Virgin Islands. The glider was launched off Martinique on May 30 by collaborators at the French Office of Biodiversity and the Parc Naturel Marin de Martinique and has been collecting data under Marine Science Research agreements in Martinique, Dominica, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent.
The glider collects up to eight 1000-meter-deep profiles of ocean Temperature, Salinity, and Dissolved Oxygen concentration daily, and transmits them via satellite to the World Meteorological Organization’s Global Telecommunications System, where they can be immediately assimilated into the ocean models used in making hurricane forecasts. The upper ocean temperature and salinity structure and ocean heat content are all major factors in hurricane intensification, and having up-to-date measurements of them along a storm’s path is extremely valuable to accurate forecasts. These missions and their contribution to regional safety are possible through the cooperation of all the nations providing scientific research clearances for ac<vi<es like these.
This mission is scheduled to continue through 26 June, and will be followed by another later in the 2023 hurricane season. Additional 2023 hurricane glider observations in the western Atlantic and Caribbean region will be supported by US NOAA and partners. Several regional projects supported by the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development are developing plans for operational glider measurements throughout the region.