Tropical Pacific Drifting Buoys
Rick Lumpkin / Mayra Pazos, AOML, Miami
During November 2018, 277 satellite-tracked surface drifting buoys were
reporting from the tropical Pacific. Several drifters indicated strong
(~40 cm/s) eastward anomalies at 3-4S, 120-130W. Elsewhere, the drifter
array indicated that large-scale currents were close to their
climatological November strengths across the basin.
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.