Wednesday, July 8th, 2020 0:19 Z

Ocean Data

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Tropical Cyclone Heat Potential (TCHP)

  • Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory's Tropical Cyclone Heat Potential Page
    This site uses a method to determine what the heat content is of the oceans. You can read the opening page above and also the methodology page for information about the method.

    Then take a look at the imagery available, like these areas for the Atlantic:

    - Atlantic
    - Caribbean
    - Gulf of Mexico

    They are a bit technical, but basically you want to know to look for the highest regions of TCHP. You do that by looking for warmest colors on the image. They have the highest heat content. The higher the number, the more energy available to the cyclone. Another important measurement is the depth of the 26 degree isotherm. If the depth of the 26 degree isotherm is 100m, that storm has 100 meters of water than is 26 degrees or higher. If the depth is less, like 25m, then the warm water is much more shallow, which means the cyclone has warm water under it that doesn't go as deep. Upwelling of cooler waters could then have a greater impact on the storm's intensity.

    Previously, if you wanted to compare one year's image to another year's image, you simply changed the date:


    When testing this in July 2019, older data was not accessible, even through the full list of dates page here. When available, you couldn't go back farther than 2005. The 152 means that the image is for the 152nd day of the year. (To get the day of the year you can either guess or use a calendar like the one here)
  • Ocean Heat Content from the University of Miami
    You can view data for the Atlantic basin and the Gulf of Mexico. You can also view SST imagery, imagery on the depth of the 26 degree isotherm and some other imagery. This site has archived data since 1998.

Latest Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs)

Tidal Data from NOAA

  • NOAA Tides and Currents
    This is where you'll be able to measure the sea rise and also take a look at other observations at reporting stations all along the coast. The interactive map and station list can be seen on this page.

Buoy Data

  • National Data Buoy Center (NDBC)
    When a storm is active, perhaps only for more significant ones, every page at the NDBC will have a link to the "Storm Special". That contains information from observations from a variety of sources, including ships, within 250 nautical miles of the storm.

Marine Observations

Storm Surge Maps

  • National Map of Storm Surge Risk from National Hurricane Center
    When using this map you should also consult this page on the Potential Storm Surge Flooding Map, the SLOSH model information page at the National Hurricane Center and also their general Storm Surge Overview page.
  • Static Storm Surge Maps from Weather Underground
    Over 500 storm surge maps are available for the Gulf and Atlantic coasts of the United States. A few Caribbean locations are also included. The maps are generated by the SLOSH (Sea, Lake, and Overland Surge from Hurricanes) model. More about surge here. Note that storm direction, storm size, storm movement, and the current tide, all have an impact on what the water level will be. "No single storm will be able to cause the level of flooding depicted in the SLOSH storm surge images along the entire coast." Make sure to read the page about these images before viewing them. Also keep in mind that while this is usually the worst case scenario, it is possible to have values greater than what is pictured. A recent example would be Category 2 (on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale) Hurricane Ike in 2008.

    You can find out more about the SLOSH model here, including how you can download the program.