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Glider in the Gulf Stream gathers vital data days before early storm

Glider in the Gulf Stream gathers vital data days before early storm

An autonomous underwater glider in the Gulf Stream has gathered information ahead of early-season Tropical Storm Arthur, passing within 75 kilometers of the eye of the storm. This routine operation provided observations of the relatively cool upper ocean waters (less than the 26°C typically needed to sustain tropical systems) along the storm’s projected track, even in the Gulf Stream. Those observations were made available for forecast models in real-time throughout the storm’s evolution. Glider data provides information on water temperature not only at the surface but also at depth, which is crucial to understanding hurricane intensity. The Gulf Stream has been continuously monitored with autonomous underwater gliders by Robert Todd at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (partially supported by GOMO) since 2015. These gliders start in Miami and are picked up south of New England months later after criss-crossing the Gulf Stream. This research has provided crucial information on how the Gulf Stream is changing over time and seasonally.

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