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New Field Analysis from the PISTON Campaign and Typhoon Mangkhut


From August-October 2018, the U.S. Navy Office of Naval Research led the Propagation of Intraseasonal Tropical Oscillations (PISTON) field campaign, co-supported by CPO’s Climate Variability & Predictability (CVP) program, to better understand mechanisms that impact atmospheric convection on multiple timescales. The R/V Thomas G. Thompson’s research vessel made two cruises during this time in the western North Pacific region north of Palau and east of the Philippines, where more tropical cyclones form than anywhere else in the world. 

This study, published in the Journal of Climate, describes the large-scale state and evolution of the atmosphere and ocean during these cruises. CVP-supported researchers combined field observations with global observational and reanalysis data sets to explore the before and after effects of strong tropical cyclone activity during the field program. They noted wind strength and speed along with changes in sea surface temperature and dramatic changes in ocean layers after the passage of Typhoon Mangkhut. Outcomes from PISTON are relevant to regional and large-scale climate variability, natural hazards, and local resource management.

The CVP component of the PISTON field campaign contributes to the Years of Maritime Continent (YMC), an international project that creates a collaborative framework for multi-disciplinary field observations and modeling to better understand the role of the Maritime Continent on the global weather-climate continuum. YMC is co-led by the Indonesian Meteorology Service (BMKG) and the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC). 

CVP hosts an ongoing webinar series chronicling the research produced by the YMC and PISTON campaigns. Webinar recordings are available on the CPO website
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Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory image by Lauren Dauphin, using VIIRS data from the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership. 

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