Tropical Pacific Drifting Buoys
Rick Lumpkin / Mayra Pazos, AOML, Miami
During June 2015, 375 satellite-tracked surface drifting buoys, 76% with
subsurface drogues attached for measuring mixed layer currents, were
reporting from the tropical Pacific. As seen in May, many drifters in
the latitude band 3-6N measured eastward anomalies of 30-50 cm/s.
Elsewhere, large-scale currents resolved by the drifters were close to
their climatological June strengths.
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.