National Ocean Month and Hurricane Season
June is National Ocean Month and the start of hurricane season. Read more to discover what TriVector atmospheric scientist Ben Woods is working on to significantly improve hurricane forecasts.June 16, 2021
This month, we recognize June as National Ocean Month and the start of hurricane season with our team at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Ben Woods, TriVector’s atmospheric scientist and Supplemental Hurricane Coordinator at NOAA, helps supervise a hurricane research project that recently deployed robotic, unmanned water gliders 1 (see image below) into the Atlantic. These water gliders significantly improve hurricane forecasts by measuring the salt content (salinity) and ocean’s temperature at various depths. NOAA’s oceanic studies suggest that stronger hurricanes occur when the ocean surface’s salinity level drops and its temperature rises, creating a “cap” preventing the mixing and upwelling of cool water from below.2
“These gliders are already in place in the Gulf of Mexico which will come in handy if we see the development of the next tropical storm, Claudette, form later this week,” says Woods.
While the gliders help with forecasting hurricanes, people can prepare by following safety measures such as the ones outlined below as referenced by the NOAA:1. Be aware of hurricane/storm watches and warnings.2. Storm Surge: Always follow evacuation orders.3. Heavy Rainfall: If you can see a body of water, you’re too close.4. Strong Wind: Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside.5. Develop a plan for BEFORE, DURING, and AFTER a storm.
And although being near an ocean is NOT advised when a hurricane is nearing landfall, it is truly the best place to be on any normal summer day! Please take the time to watch the following video created by NOAA and visit their website to learn more about how you can celebrate June as World Ocean Month by preserving its life as the largest ecosystem on this planet.