Developing an enhanced climate monitoring network for the Inter-American seas region

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Tuesday, 19 January 2010: 4:45 PM
B207 (GWCC)
Michael W. Douglas, NOAA/NSSL, Norman, OK; and J. F. Mejia and D. B. Enfield

The Intra-Americas Study of Climate Processes (IASCLIP) is a research program that has objectives of improving climate prediction over and bordering the Inter-American Seas region, a region roughly extending from the Gulf of Mexico to northern South America. This region has not been the focus of previous US CLIVAR-supported research activities such as NAME, MESA, and most recently VOCALS.

The IASCLIP domain, although being somewhat well-covered by routine meteorological measurements because of the operational interest in hurricane forecasting, presents complications for developing a climate monitoring network suitable for addressing many research questions. The presence of large islands and complicate land-sea boundaries produces large amplitude and complex local circulations modified by the diurnal cycle of solar heating. Most routine observation sites (either surface or upper-air) are affected by these local influences, leading to uncertainties in the mean over-ocean conditions.

This presentation provides an overview of some measurement needs, logistical complications, and potential observation strategies being considered for both oceanic and atmospheric measurements that will be required for advancing climate research activities in the region.