Accession Number : ADA332754

Title :   A Three-Year Climatology of Waves and Winds in the Gulf of Mexico

Descriptive Note : Final rept

Corporate Author : NAVAL RESEARCH LAB STENNIS SPACE CENTER MS OCEANOGRAPHY DIV

Personal Author(s) : Teague, William J. ; Hwang, Paul A. ; Jacobs, Gregg A. ; Thompson, E. F. ; Wang, David W.

PDF Url : ADA332754

Report Date : 14 NOV 1997

Pagination or Media Count : 22

Abstract : Precise wave and wind climatologies from satellite data are now possible. Significant wave height, wave period, wave steepness, and wind speed over the Gulf of Mexico have been derived from the NASA altimeter on the TOPEX/POSEIDON satellite for 1992-1995. TOPEX/POSEIDON ground tracks in this region are approximately 300km apart and have an along track resolution of about 7 km. Climatological maps of the Gulf of Mexico for these parameters have been generated for annual and seasonal time periods. Strong seasonality is clearly shown from these maps. Wave heights and wind speeds are found to increase from east to west across the Gulf. The fall and winter seasons are found to be most intense, with the largest significant wave heights and highest wind speeds observed during the fall season of 1995. Summer seasonal values were typically very low. The satellite data compare well with the National Data Buoy Center (NDBC) in situ buoy data and Army Corps of Engineers Wave Information Studies (WIS) Gulf of Mexico wave hindcast model statistics. Statistics of wave parameters derived from TOPEX/POSEIDON are improved over earlier satellite missions due to the improvements in altimeter accuracy and longer satellite lifetime.

Descriptors :   *OCEAN WAVES, *WIND, SEASONAL VARIATIONS, WIND VELOCITY, ALTIMETERS, CLIMATOLOGY, BUOYS, MEXICO GULF.

Subject Categories : Meteorology

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE