Monitoring impacts and array-design implications of wind observations from the tropical Pacific moored buoys
Recent forced ocean model experiment results confirm that the wind measuring component of the array works (to an often adequate degree) as designed for providing winds necessary to simulate (signal-to-noise ~2) ENSO-associated central Pacific sea surface temperature anomaly development, so long as most buoys are in service. Eastern equatorial Pacific surface temperature anomalies, however, are not hindcast accurately and questions remain about how to further improve hindcast accuracy across the basin.
The original assumption that the statistics calculated from western-central tropical Pacific island wind records are representative of open ocean conditions and other regions of the tropical Pacific has not been thoroughly reexamined. We revisit the original moored-buoy array design calculations using the wind observations provided by the array. We find that the character of key wind statistics changes across the tropical Pacific basin in ways that could not be determined from the original island wind study. In particular, the islands results provided a best-case answer for optimal mooring zonal spacing between adjacent buoys (minimally redundant coherence). Buoy zonal coherence scales shorten away from the islands. Buoy meridional coherence scales are longer than from the islands. Process studies are needed to determine the optimal array spacing away from the islands.