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Ocean surface winds


High resolution vector wind measurements at the sea surface are required in models of the atmosphere, ocean surface waves and ocean circulation. They are proving useful in enhancing marine weather forecasting through assimilation into NWP models and in improving understanding of the large-scale air-sea fluxes which are vital for climate prediction purposes. Accurate wind vector data affect a broad range of marine operations, including offshore oil operations, ship movement and routing. Such data also aid short-term weather forecasting and the issue of timely weather warnings.
Detailed MeasurementDescription*InstrumentsTimeline
Wind speed over sea surface (horizontal)Horizontal vector component (2D) of the 3D wind vector over the sea surface - Physical unit: [ m/s ] - Accuracy unit: [ m/s ] intended as vector error, i.e. the module of the vector difference between the observed vector and the true vector.28 instruments
Wind stressThe shear force per unit area exerted by wind blowing over the sea surface. [Unit of measurement – Pa]0 instruments
Wind vector over sea surface (horizontal)The wind vector represents the motion of the airmass over the ground. It is described by wind speed and the inverse of wind direction. Conventionally measured at 10 m height. For expected performances and in case the measurement is made at a different height or in case it is corrected to 10m, indicate in the comments the exact height of the instrument as well as whether correction to 10 m has been applied. Accuracy is the modulus of the vector difference between measured and true vectors. [Unit of measurement - m/s]12 instruments
* Description adapted from WMO.
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