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How Gliders Contribute to Hurricane Preparedness

16 May 2019

Ubaldo López of the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez prepares to launch NOAA ocean gliders in the summer of 2017 off Puerto Rico.

Ubaldo López of the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez prepares to launch NOAA ocean gliders in the summer of 2017 off Puerto Rico.

Building off of this year's Hurricane Preparedness Week, I wanted to provide an update on some of the ocean observing plans we at the U.S. IOOS Program have in store for this hurricane season. We are fully engaged in planning with partners from across NOAA, other agencies, and international ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes observing programs.

Following last year's successful U.S. Navy - NOAA partnership to deploy a fleet of "storm chaser" underwater gliders, we’ve been busy analyzing those results and preparing for another hurricane season.

Last year, partners provided more than 120,000 real-time data profiles to models through the U.S. IOOS Glider Data Assembly Center. Gliders are an increasingly important tool for hurricane research and forecasting because they help to identify essential ocean features and processes, such as the mixing of deep cold water and warm surface waters. We can steer gliders to gather data where we don’t have any other assets.

Without the best ocean data, we can’t provide our models with the best information for making forecasts. We have much to do to understand the full impact of glider data, and to add their data into operational models. For 2019, we are hoping to capture another quality set of profiles of temperature, salinity, and currents at many depths to provide the most accurate ocean picture possible.

This month, many of our IOOS partners from the U.S. and across the Atlantic will be meeting at Rutgers University for the 8th EGO Meeting & International Glider Workshop. The goal of the meeting is to strengthen international collaboration through community dialogue, foster information exchanges, share experiences, and develop best practices to support the glider community.

We have found that by bringing partners together in workshops, training sessions, and joint deployment missions to monitor hurricanes, we can advance science, data, technology, and information to protect lives and livelihoods.

Thank you,
Carl Gouldman

Carl Gouldman
U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®) Program
U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System Director Carl Gouldman

Carl Gouldman
Director, U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®) Program

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