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On the Variability of Winds, Sea Surface Temperature, and Surface Layer Heat Content in the Western Equatorial Pacific

Michael J. McPhaden and Stanley P. Hayes

NOAA/Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, Seattle, Washington

Journal of Geophysical Research, 96, supplement, 3331-3342 (1991)
This paper is not subject to U.S. copyright. Published in 1991 by the American Geophysical Union.

2. Data

The data used in this study were collected from three surface moorings located at 2N, 0, and 2S, 165E in the western Pacific warm pool (Figure 1). Winds were measured on all three moorings at a height 4 m above mean sea level from wind recorders mounted on the surface toroid (Figure 2). Temperatures were measured at 15 depths on the equatorial mooring and 11 depths on ATLAS thermistor chain moorings at 2N and 2S (Figure 3). In each case the shallowest measurement was at 1 m (nominally termed SST) and the deepest was at 500 m. Currents were measured on the equatorial mooring using EG&G Model 610 Vector Averaging Current Meters (VACMS) at six depths, although for this study, only the 50-m record will be considered (Figure 14). All variables were processed to daily averages; however, hourly averaged wind data were first used to estimate wind speed, wind stress, and wind work in (2), (3), and (5) (given below) before computing daily means. Record lengths for winds, temperatures, and currents are explicit in Figures 2, 3 and 14, respectively. Longer records are available from these moorings (see McPhaden et al. [1990]), although the period from December 13, 1986, to October 14, 1987, has the most complete vertical temperature coverage at the equatorial site coincident with reliable wind information during 1986-1987. Further details concerning instrumental accuracies, sampling characteristics, and data processing are given by Freitag et al. [1987] and McPhaden et al. [1990].

Fig. 2. (a) Zonal and (b) meridional winds for December 13, 1986, to October 14, 1987, at 2N, 0 and 2S along 165E.

Fig. 3. Contours of daily averaged temperatures at 2S, 0, and 2N along 165E for December 13, 1986, to October 14, 1987. Contour interval is 2C, except that the 29C contour is shown as a dashed curve. Sensor depths are indicated on the left axis; 7 days of missing data are indicated by crosses.


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