Nor’Easter! A big one!!!!!
As highlighted by David, the Mid-Atlantic got hammered today. This was an epic event and caps off the 2 weeks of great efforts. We had one week of calm conditions that allowed us to test several behaviors for the glider fleet, yesterday a very diverse group we coordinated a mission (based on community, not science), monday-tuesday model differences coordinated the fleet and tonight we face the strong fury of the nature awakened! The general mission uploaded to the fleet today was to simple, try to hold position. The currents have been building, and coastal innudation has been knocking out the CODAR sites, but as an ocean going person, all I can do is appreciate the awesome power of an angry sea and hope all people are safe. The building CODAR currents are shown below, the sites being knocked out by the storm are denoted by the red dots in the last picture.
The weather and ocean models all showed the big storm. The weather model showed the big southwest winds. Weather forecasts for tonight is starting to show the reversal of wind, and down south the eye is visible.
The ocean models all show the storm. There are differences between the models but the strong southward flow is present in all the models. Yi and his group this week added an objectively weighted model ensemble. The lowest two figures show the difference between the mean and objectively weighted ensemble model. The mean ensemble definetely showed weaker southern flowing currents. There is alot interesting science to explore lining up the observations, weather model, and ocean forecasts. The differences in the picture to speak opportunity, and despite the variances, the fact I use observations, multiple models and see a "relatively" similar ocean is awesome. What a great time to be an oceanographer and environmental scientist!
So these features are dramatic, let us check on our intrepid sea going gliders tonight.Not surprisingly, the gliders lose! Most are being advected south, the northern glider is not impacted suggesting the southward wind driven currents is variable over the shelf. Models support this. The depth variability in salinity in the cross shelf have not changed dramatically. What little temperature structure we saw in the water column has been erased. This is coincident with a decline in chlorophyll. Not surprisingly however, as the winds and waves pick, particle loads increase as seen in the optical backscatter. The SEDIMENT & SAND returns for a late night Nor'Easter party. As my Spanish colleagues often say "Force wind and honour all".