Buoy Meets Hurricane

On Thursday, hurricane Dean sideswiped a weather buoy in the Atlantic Ocean. The enhanced satellite picture, graph and text are provided by StormCenter Communications.

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This satellite image shows Hurricane Dean at the time of wind gauge failure, at 20:00 UTC (3:00pm EDT) on August 16, 2007. The location of the buoy is indicated as an orange triangle.

The buoy that Hurricane Dean crossed is #41101 and is owned and operated by Meteo France. The green line represents the air pressure and the blue line represents wind speed as the hurricane passed the buoy. The pressure drops rapidly as the hurricane gets closer to buoy and bottoms out as the buoy is the closest to the center of the storm. The last report before failure from the wind gauge was 50 knots (58 mph), but that number could have been much higher. At the time of the report from the station, Hurricane Dean was a Category 1 hurricane with 85 mph winds.

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This morning (Saturday) Dean passed over a buoy in the Caribbean, south of Puerto Rico. It is easy to tell when the hurricane hit.

Unlike the Atlantic buoy, this buoy has contined to transmit wind data. This buoy is operated by the National Buoy Data Center, a part of the National Weather Service.

John Collins

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