The Caribbean Metocean Network: A simpler way to keep on track

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Sunday, 4 January 2015
José Gabriel Lebrón, UPR-RUM Physics Department, San Juan, PR; and J. Capella

The North Atlantic Hurricane Alley that extends from the Tropical Atlantic into the Eastern Caribbean Sea benefits from an international suite of metocean stations strung along the expected track of cyclones that impact Puerto Rico. These stations are an ideal source of meteorological and oceanographic data such as: sea-level air temperature and pressure, wind speed, direction and gust that are of relevance to the formation, development, translation and potential impact of tropical cyclones in the region. Under the auspice of the Caribbean Coastal Ocean Observing System (CariCOOS) MATLAB code and Linux scripts were generated that continuously fetch realtime data from several THREDDS/OpenDAP servers and display time series from a selected sub-network of 37 weather stations. The network is comprised of 20 CariCOOS meteorological stations (42085, 41056, 41051, 41052, 41053, IMGP4, PRTP4, XAGU, XAMA, XBRO, XBUK, XCDP, XCRX, XGUR, XJUA, XMRS, XREY, XSAV, XWGO, XYAB), 6 Puerto Rico Seismic Network stations (SJNP4, AROP4, MGZP4,YABP4, FRDP4, VQSP4), 6 NOS buoys (LTBV3, BARA9, ESPP4, LAMV3, CHAV3, CHSV3), 4 National Data Buoy Center buoys (41040, 41041, 41043, 42060) and 1 from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (41NT0). All buoys are located around Puerto Rico, in the vicinity of the Lesser Antilles arch and throughout Eastern Atlantic Ocean. A CariCOOS web page has been created to interactively portray one-week time series plots for any selected stations. The user simply clicks on a buoy icon and all parameter time series are displayed. The approach of any tropical cyclone may therefore be monitored a near-realtime basis by checking its effect on the stations in its path.