Archive for July 1st, 2011

IMCS satellite oceanographer M…

Friday, July 1st, 2011

IMCS satellite oceanographer Mike Crowley predicts a warm holiday weekend at the beach. Happy Fourth from your...

Rabbit Rabbit

Friday, July 1st, 2011

Hey all,

First off, we would just like kick off the 4th of July weekend by congratulating Challenger 1 and the rest of its team on making it through the first week and 200km of this mission, roughly 5% complete!

Now looking to the North Atlantic and our glider, it looks like the storm we mentioned yesterday is really causing some havoc.  Where we left off yesterday, we had nice strong currents pushing us along running in the south - south west direction (image with the overlay).  However, today it's almost the complete opposite as the currents have shifted and are moving to the North West (image without the overlay).







It appears that the storm is changing conditions around us faster than our models our updating, so path planning looks like it just got a little more difficult.  In the up coming days, we will begin checking out satellite data for chlorophyll a (the main pigment in the ocean's primary producers) along with other data sets in hopes that we can get higher resolution predictions of where the currents are moving.

Another resource we have started looking to try and get an idea of the storms progress, is looking at the Jet Stream.  Towards the  end of 27's mission, we found a correlation between the presence of the Jet Stream, wave heights, and direction and intensity of the currents.  Bringing these resources back into play, it looks like we are just on the outer edges of the storm and that it may slam right into us.

Jet Stream on July 1 from

Waves as of 6:00 GMT on July 1 from

Dave and Shannon also have provided us with a new sea surface height model that we have began using.  Now I know you may think 'hey I thought they already had a model for ssh...' but it is actually very important to have many perspectives on this sort of thing (this will be our 3rd SSH model).  There actually are some eddies that hadn't seen previously in our other models, and that is what is to be expected.  By having all of these resources pooled together, we can make more accurate predictions as to what the actual conditions are and more effectively maneuver the glider.  Another important element to this SSH model is the large red feature to the south west.  This is a body of water that is extremely high (nearly 148 cm in some places) and we will be keeping a close eye on how it moves as to try and plan how to take on that sort of challenge if it arises in the future.

And as the old saying goes, speaking "rabbit rabbit" upon waking on the first of the month will grant good luck.  So to Challenger 1 we wish you luck over the next month and to everyone else I hope you enjoy your holiday weekend as we celebrate our great country's Independence!

-Nilsen & Oliver