Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union

Focusing on improving automated meteorological observations from ships



The High-Resolution Marine Meteorology (HRMM) community is working to improve the quality of, and access to, surface marine meteorological and oceanographic data collected in situ by automated instrumentation on ships and moored platforms. The purpose of the Second High-Resolution Marine Meteorology Workshop, hosted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Climate Observation (OCO), last April, was to discuss implementation of the recommendations from the Workshop on High-Resolution Marine Meteorology held in Tallahassee, Florida, on 3–5 March 2003 (for details, see http://www.coaps.fsu.edu/RVSMDC/marine_workshop/ Workshop.html).

Shipboard automated meteorological and oceanographic systems (SAMOSs) are an essential component of a sustained ocean observing system. SAMOSs provide platform navigation, surface meteorology, and near-surface ocean data that are ideal benchmarks for new satellite sensors (e.g., WindSat, future National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) sensors) and global ocean-atmosphere models. SAMOS sampling is adequate to provide accurate estimates of the variability on scales (from subdiurnal) needed for satellite calibration and validation. Sampling rates also are ideal for estimating turbulent air-sea heat, momentum, and moisture fluxes that are critical for climate research and can be used to help understand sources of bias and uncertainty in global model flux fields. SAMOS observations from oceanographic research vessels (R/Vs) are of particular importance since these vessels frequently operate in areas far outside the normal merchant shipping lanes.