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CBLAST: Hurricane research with altimetry
CBLAST: Hurricane research with altimetry Image
CBLAST float trajectories are shown overlaid on CCAR SSH anomaly. The white crosses show the final float positions on the date and time noted. Nine floats were deployed ahead of hurricane Frances in an effort to sample properties in the surface layer in near-real time. Sea surface height anomaly images were downloaded during the sampling period. Investigators were able to see the correspondence of their trajectories with sea surface elevation.
Image Credit: Scripps

Scripps Institution of Oceanography investigators have been using the CCAR near real-time altimetry to monitor ocean circulation features during deployment of CBLAST floats during the recent hurricane season. CBLAST floats are used to study the upper ocean mixed layer. The primary goal is to improve our understanding of air-sea surface flux processes in high winds, specifically in the complex conditions of tropical hurricanes where swell, sea spray and secondary boundary layer circulations play a role. The ultimate goal and prime motivation for this work is to parameterize these new observations and improve the accuracy of hurricane intensity prediction.

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