Scripps scientists track Hurricane Florence with buoys

Posted at 6:43 PM, Sep 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-13 21:43:03-04

LA JOLLA, CALIF. (KGTV) - As Hurricane Florence barrels through the Carolinas, researchers with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography are helping gather data on the tropical cyclone.

Scripps researcher Luca Centurioni and his team manage a network of 1500 global drifters - basically buoys that measure sea surface temperature and currents, and some that also measure atmospheric pressure. 

“Satellites cover the entire planet much more frequently,” said Centurioni, “but they lack the accuracy and that can be obtained with instrumentation deployed.”

He’s created a sub page of information on Hurricane Florence, as the drifters in the path of the hurricane are being utilized to validate data.

“We can actually reconstruct the life of the storm see how much the pressure changes,” said Centurioni

Sea surface temperature is calculated from satellites, and then NOAA uses information from these on-site drifters to validate that the data they are getting is correct.

The same for atmospheric pressure. Global circulation of the atmosphere steers where the storm will go.