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Tropical Pacific Drifting Buoys

Rick Lumpkin / Mayra Pazos, AOML, Miami


During October 2015, 399 satellite-tracked surface drifting buoys, 64% with subsurface drogues attached for measuring mixed layer currents, were reporting from the tropical Pacific. As seen in August and September, across the basin a number of drifters measured very strong (~50 cm/s) eastward anomalies between 5S and 5N. Elsewhere, large-scale currents were close to their climatological October values.

FIGURE A1.1 a) Top: Movements of drifting buoys in the tropical Pacific Ocean. The linear segments of each trajectory represent a one week displacement. Trajectories of buoys which have lost their subsurface drogues are gray; those with drogues are blue. b) Middle: Monthly mean currents calculated from all buoys 1993-2010 (gray), and currents measured by the drogued buoys this month (black) smoothed by an optimal filter. c) Bottom: Anomalies from the climatological monthly mean currents for this month.

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Page Last Modified: November 2015
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