The drifters are adrift here in Monterey Bay

Well, the drifters are adrift here in Monterey Bay. They were deployed mid day today, local time by a team from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) and three Oceanography students from Monterey Peninsula College. The study is part of an intensive effort to look at the physical oceanography associated with harmful algal blooms (HABs) After four messages to the satellite (configured at 48/day), the image looks like this:

 You can see two drifters are out there; the single position is from when the ship was on the way to deployment. Both of the drifters are drifting south or southeast. This is somewhat unexpected as we thought the circulation in Monterey Bay was counterclockwise as I explained in my previous blog.

Wonder why the drifters are drifting southsouthwest? They are moving directly towards the Salinas Valley, probably as a result of seabreezes that pick up every afternoon here. At least that’s my current (ha ha) hypothesis. The winds today are shown on the image above, blowing straight towards the Salinas Valley, which is between Moss Landing and Del Monte Beach on the image above. The drifters were deployed northeast of Moss Landing, somewhat north of the MO buoy as shown on the image above.

 Follow along at the usual spots. I’ll share the response of the students in a later installment.

 Over and out for now,

 -Fred

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