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TAO performance continues to improve after fourth service cruise. Read more...

Reports from the National Data Buoy Center's Stations in the Gulf of Mexico During the Passage of Hurricane Rita

18-24 September 2005

This report provides a summary of some of the wind speed parameters, the sea-level pressure, and wave parameter reports from the National Data Buoy Center's (NDBC) stations in the vicinity of Hurricane Rita's track.

Map showing track of Rita and nearby stations

Figure 1: NDBC Stations within 300NM of Hurricane Rita's Track.

Wind Speed: For stations in this report, wind speed is sampled at a rate of 1.0 Hz. For the Coastal-Marine Automated Network (C-MAN) stations, FWYF1, MLRF1, LONF1, SANF1, DRYF1, and SRST2, wind speeds are reported to NDBC in knots to a resolution of 0.1 knots. C-MAN wind speeds have been converted to meters per second (m/s) for this report, where 1 m/s = 1.94 knots. For the buoy stations (42001 and 42035) wind speeds are reported to NDBC in meters per second to a resolution of 0.1 m/s. For the plot legends:

CWS: The average wind speed over a 10-minute period at the anemometer height. In this report, data are plotted at the time of the end of the valid 10-minute period.

MXGT1: The Peak 5-second gust during the past hour at the anemometer height. The time of MXGT1 is reported to the nearest minute, however, in this report data are plotted at the valid time of the hourly report.

WSPD1: The average wind speed for a period of 2 minutes for C-MAN stations and 8 minutes for buoy stations.

GUST1: The highest five-second average wind speed during the 2 or 8 minute sampling period.

Pressure: For stations in this report, pressure is sampled at a rate of 1.0 Hz and reported to a resolution of 0.1 hectoPascal (hPa). For the plot legends:

BARO1: Sea-level Pressure. Coastal-Marine Automated Network (C-MAN) stations average the pressure over 2 minutes. The buoy stations average the pressure over 8-minutes.

Wave: For buoy 42001 the wave sampling period is 40 minutes and sampled at a rate of 1.7066 Hz. For buoy 42035, the wave sampling period is 20 minutes at a sampling rate of 2.0 Hz.

WVHGT: The significant wave height that represents the average of the highest one-third of the waves during the wave sampling period and is computed from the zeroth spectral moment (m0) as 4 * √ m0.

DOMPD: The Dominant Period that represents the wave period (time from between consecutive passes of the wave crests) of the waves with the most energy.

Closest Point of Approach (CPA): Time, bearing (degrees True), and distance (Nautical Miles) from the station to Hurricane Rita at CPA are computed using the positions from the National Hurricane Center's advisories that have been interpolated to hourly values for positions, wind speed (intensity), and central pressure.



Wind/pressure plot from station FWYF1

Figure 2: C-MAN Station Fowey Rocks FL (FWYF1): Winds (Anemometer Height 43.9m) and Sea-Level Pressure

Event Reported Value Date/Time of Event
Lowest Sea-Level Pressure (BARO1) 1007.8 hPa 09/20 0900Z
Maximum 10-minute Wind Speed (CWS) 21.6 m/s 09/20 1610Z
Maximum 5-s Gust (MXGT1) 28.8 m/s 09/20 1215Z
CPA Bearing and Distance To Hurricane 189°/190 nm 09/20 1200Z

Link to Station Page: http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/station_page.php?station=FWYF1



Wind/pressure plot from station MLRF1

Figure 3: C-MAN Station Molasses Reef FL (MLRF1): Winds (Anemometer Height 15.8m) and Sea-Level Pressure

Event Reported Value Date/Time of Event
Lowest Sea-Level Pressure (BARO1) 1003.4 hPa 09/20 1200Z
Maximum 10-minute Wind Speed (CWS) 22.34 m/s 09/20 1210Z
Maximum 5-s Gust (MXGT1) 30.12 m/s 09/20 1153Z
CPA Bearing and Distance To Hurricane 181°/73 nm 09/20 1200Z

Link to Station Page: http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/station_page.php?station=MLRF1



Wind/pressure plot from station LONF1

Figure 4: C-MAN Station Long Key FL (LONF1): Winds (Anemometer Height 7.0m) and Sea-Level Pressure

Event Reported Value Date/Time of Event
Lowest Sea-Level Pressure (BARO1) 1003.3 hPa 09/20 1200Z
Maximum 10-minute Wind Speed (CWS) 20.13 m/s 09/20 1530Z
Maximum 5-s Gust (MXGT1) 26.98 m/s 09/20 1519Z
CPA Bearing and Distance To Hurricane 187°/63 nm 09/20 1500Z

Link to Station Page: http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/station_page.php?station=LONF1



Wind/pressure plot from station SANF1

Figure 5: C-MAN Station Sand Key FL (SANF1): Winds (Anemometer Height 13.1m) and Sea-Level Pressure

Hurricane Rita destroyed Sand Key station after 22Z on the 20th.

Event Reported Value Date/Time of Event
Lowest Sea-Level Pressure (BARO1) 988.5 hPa 09/20 2100Z
Maximum 10-minute Wind Speed (CWS) 32.28 m/s 09/20 2110Z
Maximum 5-s Gust (MXGT1) 40.98 m/s 09/20 1953Z
CPA Bearing and Distance To Hurricane 196°/31 nm 09/20 2000Z

Link to Station Page: http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/station_page.php?station=SANF1



Wind/pressure plot from station DRYF1

Figure 6: C-MAN Station Dry Tortugas FL (DRYF1): Winds (Anemometer Height 5.7m) and Sea-Level Pressure

Hurricane Rita destroyed the Dry Tortugas station after 03Z on the 21st.

Event Reported Value Date/Time of Event
Lowest Sea-Level Pressure (BARO1) 994.0 hPa 09/21 0100Z
Maximum 10-minute Wind Speed (CWS) 29.50 m/s 09/21 0120Z
Maximum 5-s Gust (MXGT1) 39.23 m/s 09/21 0128Z
CPA Bearing and Distance To Hurricane 193°/35 nm 09/21 0200Z

Link to Station Page: http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/station_page.php?station=DRYF1



Wind/pressure plot from station 42001

Figure 7: Buoy 42001: Winds (Anemometer Height 10.0 m) and Sea-Level Pressure



Wave plot from station 42001

Figure 8: Buoy 42001: Significant Wave Height and Dominant Period

Event Reported Value Date/Time of Event
Lowest Sea-Level Pressure (BARO1) 925.7 hPa 09/22 2300Z
Maximum 10-minute Wind Speed (CWS) 45.1 m/s 09/23 0030Z
Maximum 5-s Gust (MXGT1) 61.0 m/s 09/23 0021Z
Maximum Significant Wave Height (WVHGT) 11.63 m 09/22 2100Z
CPA Bearing and Distance To Hurricane 042°/2 nm 09/22 2200Z

Link to Station Page: http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/station_page.php?station=42001



Wind/pressure plot from station 42035

Figure 9: Buoy 42035: Winds (Anemometer Height 5.0 m) and Sea-Level Pressure

Buoy 42035 had two anemometers. The primary anemometer failed after 06Z on the 24th after recording the highest wind speeds. Wind data from the secondary anemometer were released after that time. Buoy 42035 was not configured with the NDBC Continuous Wind package, so the CWS and MXGT1 parameters are not available.



Wave plot from station 42035

Figure 10: Buoy 42035: Significant Wave Height and Dominant Period

Event Reported Value Date/Time of Event
Lowest Sea-Level Pressure (BARO1) 972.3 hPa 09/24 0700Z
Maximum 8-minute Wind Speed (CWS) 28.1 m/s 09/24 0500Z
Maximum 5-s Gust (GUST1) 34.1 m/s 09/24 0600Z
Maximum Significant Wave Height (WVHGT) 6.11 m 09/24 0700Z
CPA Bearing and Distance To Hurricane 069°/43 nm 09/24 0600Z

Link to Station Page: http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/station_page.php?station=42035



Wind/pressure plot from station SRST2

Figure 11: C-MAN Station Sabine River TX (SRST2): Winds and Sea-Level Pressure

Event Reported Value Date/Time of Event
Lowest Sea-Level Pressure (BARO1) 951.3 hPa 09/24 0800Z
Maximum 10-minute Wind Speed (CWS) 35.0 m/s 09/24 0710Z
Maximum 5-s Gust (MXGT1) 45.15 m/s 09/24 0649Z
CPA Bearing and Distance To Hurricane 070°/14 nm 09/24 0800Z

Link to Station Page: http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/station_page.php?station=SRST2