Hurricane intensity predictions would benefit from timely, more accurate ocean temperature, salinity and wave measurements, NOAA researchers find.
On September 30, 2021, a saildrone uncrewed surface vehicle made history by intercepting the eyewall of Hurricane Sam in the northwestern tropical Atlantic, recording a viral video of what it’s like to be tossed around by 100 mile-per-hour winds and 30-foot high waves.
The Guinness Book of World Records later certified that a 126.4 mile-per-hour wind gust recorded by the bright orange 23-foot saildrone in the core of the Category 4 storm was a new world record for an uncrewed surface vehicle.
But the most long-lasting impact of Saildrone Explorer SD 1045’s trailblazing research voyage may come from the continuous readings collected by the... more
PMEL in the News
On a windy day in October 2013, a small team of engineers and boatbuilders watched the first wind-powered ocean drone disappear over the horizon, bound for Hawaii 2,200 nautical miles away. That journey took 34 days. Fast forward 10 years, and Saildrone’s fleet of uncrewed surface vehicles (USVs...
El Niño is expected to gain strength and flaunt its muscle this winter, and forecasters are closely watching ocean temperatures to determine just how strong the El Niño weather pattern that developed over the summer will get in the coming months. Mike McPhaden is quoted.
The U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet did more than help win World War II: As its ships made their way through the Pacific Ocean during the war, naval personnel used daily logbooks to record vital weather and climate data at a time when such observations dwindled worldwide. This publication highlights...
Special issue of Oceanography exploring 50 years of PMEL history and accomplishments. The cover illustration depicts many of the technologies that support research at the NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL). (Cover illustration with technologies identified)
Fifty years ago, NOAA created a new environmental research laboratory in Seattle with an initial focus on water quality in Puget Sound, and environmental studies of the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea.
Since then, the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory has evolved into one of the world's leading ocean research institutes, specializing in observing ocean conditions from tsunamis to changes in climate and ocean chemistry with the aid of innovative instrumentation and measurement... more