Archive for October 26th, 2009

Weather Group Week of 10/27/09

Monday, October 26th, 2009

Hello all.

This week we focused on finding more detailed data in the archives for the last week in November. As per usual we also included the current weather conditions of the region as well as a current look at the Jet Stream.

As of Monday this is where the Jet Stream was located.

Current European Jet Stream

The current weather model is shown here:Current Weather Pattern

Current Satellite Image:

Current Satellite Image

Current Regional Cloud Cover:

Current Cloud Cover

Archived Weather data for the last week in November 2008:

Vigo: Rain and Fog. Visibility was poor. The temperature ranged from  3-6 deg C

Lisbon: Some Rain. Decent Visibility most days. Temperature ranged from 8-12 deg C

Archived Weather Data for the last week in November 2007:

Vigo: No rain but heavy fog. Poor Visibility. Temperature ranged from 1-10 deg C

Lisbon: Clear with excellent visibility the whole week. Temperature ranged from 10-17 deg C

Thats all for now!

Justin and Nilsen

Slow Gliders, Fast Cars, and Global Maps

Monday, October 26th, 2009

Katie here with a continuation of our historic crossing information.

This week we began creating a final set of Kml files for our historic crossings. There will be three files with three different categories: Ships, People, and Other.

In addition we began creating a chart of the speeds of different objects compared to the gliders.
So far our chart looks like:

Object Speed
Ship 1183.22
Sailboat 257.2
Human Walking 134.1
Human Running 1250
Slow Car Speed 670.57
Fast Car Speed 2011.68

All objects are measured in centemerts per second.
As you can see the gliders are very slow compared to the other objects. Even slower then an average walk. To compare to a person a glider moves about the same pace as a slow walk. Which means that with large waves or currents the glider gets tossed around.

We wish scarlet good luck with her last leg and hope she gets there safely!

(Erin, Dan)

A glimmer of success in a week of frustration.

Monday, October 26th, 2009

Google's 3-D modeling program called "SketchUp" is indeed showing great potential glider flight profile introduction into Google Earth. The concept of the program is relatively simple: make simple to complex 3-dimensional products and be able to impose images, via a number of ways, onto the external surfaces of the object. This can allow for the production of recognizable 3-D objects, such as buildings, to be introduced into Google Earth. While the concept is simple, the actual act is proving to be quite difficult. First of all, the simplicity of the exporting-from-SketchUp/importing-to-Google Earth is made to be terrestrial (on land, above sea level). We want to have our models in the ocean, sub-sea level. Secondly, we are attempting to use the 3-d modeling program to create a 2-d model, or for all practical purposes an image, to change the direction plane on which the image lies in comparison to an image overlay into Google Earth. These two factors are difficult ones to work with...but progress is slowly but surely being made.

Below is an image of one of RU27's latest flight profile plots in Google SketchUp being prepared for export to Google Earth. As you can see, a flat 2-d object is being created in a 3-d modeling program. The black is actually transparent; once in Google Earth, the only part visible will be the flight path, and anything else we choose to enter. There will be no rectangle enclosing the flight profile.


Aside from figuring out how to actually get SketchUp and Google Earth to cooperate, we also have a checklist of other things needed to be done for this project. Since there are such a large number of segments for RU27 which will need to be reworked, customized, and documented into this project, some type of autoscript to make the process move faster will need to be created to prepare the segments for a more readily understandable/readable format. We will also begin to extract important moments along RU27's active sub-surface flight that will need to be marked along the upcoming underwater flight path for Google Earth. These landmark moments will be incorporated into the overall completed .kmz file.

Also upcoming will be a tiled example of the data types which we have used for piloting as a downloadable example for Google Earth as a type of introductory "lesson" for newcomers following a glider's flight. The file will include explanations of the different types of data and will explain how to read and understand them in an effort to bring all of our online followers aboard with us.

-Dave, Chris, & Jason

“A man without a goal is like a ship without a rudder.” -Thomas Carlyle

Monday, October 26th, 2009

This week we continued to take screenshots in order to track boat traffic and help us to predict where we need to pick up RU27. The beginning of the week did not show much boat traffic and the boats were mostly within the shipping lanes at 10° West.

October 21, 2009 2:22 am EST

October 21, 2009 2:22 am EST

There was not much traffic off the coasts of Portugal and most of the ships seen at this time were inside the shipping lanes.

October 22, 2009 8:37 pm EST

October 22, 2009 8:37 pm EST

We saw an slight increase in the number of vessels this day but again most of the boats were inside the shipping lanes.

October 25, 2009 2:25 pm EST

October 25, 2009 2:25 pm EST

Sunday also appeared to be a somewhat calm day at sea like Wednesday with a small number of ships and only one boat outside the designated shipping lanes.

October 26,2009 4:54 pm EST

October 26,2009 4:54 pm EST

Monday's shots could be seen as a potential concern. The week had not shown too much traffic and most had been within the shipping lanes but today we saw a large increase in shipping activity all along the coast of both Spain and Portugal. Many of the ships seem to be traveling farther out than 10° W.

October 26,2009 7:54 pm EST

October 26,2009 7:54 pm EST

Just a few hours later and the number of ships has once again increased. This shot is of high concern because of the large number of vessels outside of the shipping lanes. Over the coming weeks we will continue to track the shipping traffic and hopefully we can make a final decision on where will be best to pick up RU27 in order to avoid a possible run in with boating traffic.

-Amelia, Leo, Shannon

Oh wait, we lied.

Monday, October 26th, 2009

Hello All-

This is Melissa and Dani from the Waves group.  This week we found a couple of websites with archived weather data from Vigo, Spain (which is the closest city to our wonderful Capo Silliero wave-buoy).  This website, Weather Underground, has day-to-day records of temperature, humidity, pressure, weather and lunar cycles.  This will help us to determine the cause of the "scary" wave heights we've been seeing.  From what we have observed, the scary waves are due to long periods of overcast and rain/storms.

We also looked at a site recommended to us called Windfinder.  This gives us the wave and wind forecasts for the upcoming week.  This does not help us too much; although there is archived data, it comes at a price (literally).  We can at least use this site to forecast the wind patterns for the next week, and look at the Puertos del Estado site to compare the wind, weather and wave data.

From looking at the Puertos del Estado wave data, we are concluding that the waves aren't as scary as we previously thought.  Why, you may ask?  In the graph below of the wave heights from November 2006; the black is the average wave height and the gray is the maximum wave height for that day.  Here, the wave heights are, on average, between 2-4 meters:

picture-11 We can connect this data (from November 2006) to the archived weather data from to explain why the wave heights were so large or small.  For example, the biggest wave heights here are on November 27 and 28.  If we look at the archived weather data of those two days, we can see that both days had heavy rain showers.

From this, we can say that weather has EVERYTHING to do with waves.  If there is a storm, rain, overcast (what have you), there will be bigger waves.

That is all,

M and D

Data for Drake

Monday, October 26th, 2009

We found a data site that has plots of temperature, salinity, and pressure for an eastern boundary buoy at 23.8 degrees N, -24.1005 degrees E in 2005.  They have plots from 20m to 4850 m from the RAPID-MOC monitoring array.

eb1-3tsuThe above plot is a culmination of all of the depths but they also have individual plots from mid November to mid December in 2005.

We also put in a request for more of the mooring data since the data is restricted.

Additionally we looked over the plotted data for the glider mission in Sept. 2008 around the Canaries which includes plots of salinity, potential density, potential temperature, and pitch.

Lastly we looked at the gridded mooring data available for the western and eastern boundaries on the RADID-MOC array.  Below are vertical temperature profiles from April 2004-Oct 2007.  We would be interested in the Eastern boundary which in the bottom profile.


The Season Begins!

Monday, October 26th, 2009

Palmer Station and the GouldGreetings from Palmer Station Antarctica. This year Alex (veteran from last year), Brian, and myself (Tina) are here for the LTER summer season. Some changes this year are the addition of a third person and a third glider to our group which will hopefully allow us to get even more accomplished. We will be working very closely with Maggie and Dan who are from Hugh Ducklow's group  since we are all sampling the same water and at the same depths. We will also be working closely with Kristen and Jenn who are the Penguin girls from Bill Fraser's group. Together the seven of us form the LTER science group! We have been spending the past week finding all our gear and setting up our respective labs. Today we are hoping will be our first sampling day however we are faced with a very high tide and 20 knot winds. Neither of which yields to successful boating. So instead we play it by ear and hope for a break in the weather.

Adelie Colony on Torgersen Island

It hasn't all been hard labor though... we were all lucky enough to go to Torgersen Island which has a couple Adelie penguin colonies on it. It was a beautiful day and quite the experience.