Tropical Pacific Drifting Buoys
Rick Lumpkin / Mayra Pazos, AOML, Miami
During September 2014, 346 satellite-tracked surface drifting buoys, 81%
with subsurface drogues attached for measuring mixed layer currents,
were reporting from the tropical Pacific. Strong eastward anomalies in
the eastern equatorial Pacific, seen in August, persisted in September.
These anomalies peaked at ~40 cm/s eastward compared to climatological
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.