Collaborative Research

Persisting in the Storm
by -- January 29th, 2013

Dear all,

Somehow today is my second turn to write a blog post and it also is the second day that we cannot deploy our equipment to sample in the North Pacific! The vessel has been rocking from side to side all day, and the eighteen-foot waves and poring rain have kept us inside and away from the deck. Our plan for today was to continue sampling the increasing water temperatures as we move south, but we have had to adapt to the current weather conditions and, therefore, we are now continuing slowly our way south with the hope of sampling tomorrow in waters with a surface temperature close to sixteen degrees C.

We have been in the North Pacific for close to twenty days and during this time we have learned how hard this  place is for sampling at this time of the year. The reason for this is that during the winter centers of low pressure form in the west and push the North Pacific center of high pressure to the east. At our current position – at the edge of the low pressure centers, 34 deg. N and 154 deg. W – this pressure pattern translates to southerly winds and a great amount of swell from the northwest.

In case you are interested in learning more about the weather we are expecting for the next few days, I have prepared an animation:

It shows our current position and the tentative transect the R/V Kilo Moana will follow. This is overlaid on the mapped forecast of surface winds. We are now suffering 30 to 40-knot winds (yellow/orange contours on the map) and tomorrow conditions are predicted to improve (reaching 5-knot winds or less by the end of the day – white/light blue areas). After that, we may suffer again from winds of 15 to 25 knots (dark blue/green that form intermittently north of the vessel).

Hopefully tomorrow we will report that we were back on deck and sampling!

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