Tuesday, 17 April 2018
Champions DEFGH (Sawgrass Marriott)
Repeat hydrographic surveys of the Texas Bight were carried out by the Department of Oceanography at Texas A&M University in June, August, and September of 2017. An additional survey is planned for November. These surveys, each covering over 16000 km2, are used to research the role of the ocean in the rapid intensification of Harvey as well as Harvey’s impact on the ocean. Preliminary analysis reveal two weeks prior to Harvey, the ocean was extremely warm; mixed later temperatures across the bight exceeded 30 °C and the mean temperature for the entire water column was 28.3 °C. This was 1.8 °C warmer than observed in June 2017, translating to a heat content increase of 4.8 x 1012 MJ. Three weeks after Harvey, the mean temperature was reduced by 0.6 °C, translating to a heat content decrease of 1.6 x 1012 MJ. With the help of models and additional met-ocean data from NDBC and TABS buoys, we put these numbers into perspective as we explore the complex relationship between the ocean and Hurricane Harvey.
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