Tropical Pacific Drifting Buoys
Rick Lumpkin / Mayra Pazos, AOML, Miami
During April 2015, 376 satellite-tracked surface drifting buoys, 73% with
subsurface drogues attached for measuring mixed layer currents, were reporting
from the tropical Pacific. As seen since February, drifters near the equator
west of the dateline indicated strong eastward anomalies. However, unlike in
February-March, there were few drifters near the equator. Elsewhere, currents
were close to their climatological April values.
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
c) Bottom: Anomalies from the climatological monthly mean currents for this month.