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Marine Science


The eye of Hurricane Katrina passed within 49 n mi of an oceanographic observing system buoy in the Mississippi Bight that is part of the Central Gulf of Mexico Ocean Observing System. Although a mechanical anemometer failed on the buoy during the hurricane, a two-axis sonic anemometer survived and provided a complete record of the hurricane's passage. This is the first reported case of a sonic anemometer surviving a hurricane and reporting validated data, and it demonstrates that this type of anemometer is a viable alternative to the mechanical anemometers traditionally used in marine applications. The buoy pitch and roll record during the storm show the importance of compensating the anemometer records for winds oblique to the horizontal plane of the anemometers. This is made apparent in the comparison between the two wind records from the anemometers during the hurricane.


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Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology





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