OOMG members Dr. Joe Zambon (Research Assistant Professor) and Shun Mao (Ph.D. Student) arrived at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) to board the R/V Neil Armstrong early Thursday morning. They are taking part in the final cruise of the NSF-funded Processes Driving Exchange at Cape Hatteras (PEACH). Upon their arrival, they checked in with the Chief Scientist for this expedition (AR-33), UNC Professor Dr. Harvey Seim. Most of their equipment for deploying eXpendible BathyThermographs (XBTs) and rawindsondes (a.k.a. weather balloons) were shipped directly to the vessel. They will spend the next day verifying operation of instruments on the Armstrong, along with securing an antennae and cables to one of the higher decks for communication with the rawindsondes.
Their departure was originally scheduled for early Friday morning; however, the CNAPS model is predicting a strong storm to pass through the northeastern U.S. with gale force winds and 5+ meter waves (CNAPS prediction attached). This forecast, consistent with other forecast models, has postponed the departure of the Armstrong until after the storm has passed. NSF-sponsored vessels build in a few “weather” days so the delay is not expected to impact their work. As long as the waves calm down quickly after the storm’s passage on Friday (as forecast in CNAPS), they should be able to leave Saturday morning for the continental shelf break off of North Carolina.