Targeted Atmosphere Ocean observations from Tropical Cyclones

2003 Fabian     2004 Frances     2005 Rita     2007 Dean     2008 Gustav Ike Hagupit Jangmi     2010 Fanapi Malakas (ITOP)


All data from ocean drifter deployments in tropical cyclones from 2003 to 2008 are presented here. Drifters can measure air pressure, SST, surface wind direction and speed, ocean currents, and vertical temperature profiles. Drifter sensor configurations differ from one deployment to the next. In addition, atmospheric data collected during the ocean observations are also made available. Included are, for example, selected radiosonde profiles.

The goal of this project is to advance atmosphere-ocean modeling of tropical cyclones, by making observational data available for model validations in a comprehensive and easily accessible manner.

All available data are summarized in the following table. Click on the hurricane/typhoon name for analyses and graphs of selected drifter sensor data.

Year Ocean Deployments Data
2003 Atlantic Fabian 8 Drifters
2004 Atlantic Frances 66 Drifters 2 Floats
2005 Atlantic Rita 20 Drifters
2007 Atlantic Dean 12 Drifters
2008 Atlantic Gustav 12 Drifters
Atlantic Ike 20 Drifters
Pacific Hagupit 11 Drifters
Pacific Jangmi 22 Drifters
2010 Pacific Fanapi 50 Drifters
Pacific Malakas 12 Drifters

*** Note: The data collections on this website require a password for access - please contact Jan Morzel, jan@rosettaconsult.com.
Not all data directories are complete. Updates will be posted frequently.

1. SST Cold Wake of Tropical Cyclones from Drifter Observations

The drifter observed SST changes under tropical cyclones are depicted in the following figures. Shown are daily-averaged SST differences from pre-storm conditions. The data are depicted in a storm-relative coordinate sytem, mapped at a grid resolution of 50x50km. The number of drifters with SST data in each deployment is listed under each plot as "Ndrifter= . . ". The maximum SST cooling derived from this map during the time period of the drifter deployments are summarized in Table 1.

In all following figures, click on the images for enlarged versions of plots.

Cyclone Ocean Time Period max SST cooling
Fabian Atlantic 9/04 - 9/06/2003 -1.5°
Frances Atlantic 9/01 - 9/05/2004 -2.3°
Rita Atlantic 9/21 - 9/25/2005 -2.3°
Dean Atlantic 8/19 - 8/21/2007 -1.5°
Gustav Atlantic 8/31 - 9/02/2008 -2.2°
Ike Atlantic 9/11 - 9/13/2008 -3.4°
Hagupit Pacific 9/20 - 9/22/2008 -1.3°
Jangmi Pacific 9/26 - 9/28/2008 -1.4°

Table 1.1: Maximum SST cooling from drifter observations in eight tropical cyclones.

Fig. 1.1 SST changes from drifter observations in seven tropical cyclones, daily-averaged on 50x50km map.

2. Surface Wind Field in Tropical Cyclones from Drifter Observations

The wind direction obervations from drifters under tropical cyclones are shown in the following figures, superimposed on observed SST changes. SST maps are the same as in Fig. 1.1.

Fig. 2.1 Surface wind field from drifter observations in six tropical cyclones.

Selected Presentations related to Drifter Research

Selected Publications related to Drifter Research


Support for deploying ocean buoys and for maintaining this website is provided by ONR, NOAA and NSF. The oustanding performance of the 53rd "Hurricane Hunter Squadron" of the United States Air Force National Guard in many air-deployments is greatly appreciated.

When using data from this website, please acknowledge us in your publications with text such as: Data provided by UCSD under sponsorship of ONR, NOAA, and NSF: "Targeted Atmosphere Ocean Observations from Tropical Cyclones": http://tao-tc.ucsd.edu.

This website resides at the University of California, San Diego, and is maintained by Jan Morzel, Rosetta Consulting, Boulder, Colorado.
For questions and inquiries please contact jan@rosettaconsult.com .

last modified on May 20, 2011