The southeastern Pacific stratocumulus region reaches close to the equator and extends 1500 km offshore to central Chile almost year-round (Klein and Hartmann, 1993). Stratocumulus clouds form over the oceans with relatively cold sea surface temperatures. Stratus clouds strongly influence global climate because their high albedo gives rise to large deficits in absorbed solar radiative flux at the top of the atmosphere while their low altitude prevents significant compensation in thermal emission (Randall et al, 1984).
In November 2004, the NOAA R/V Ronald H. Brown conducted a regular buoy maintenance cruise in central and southeast Pacific. The Environmental Technology Laboratory (ETL) and the University of Miami's Radar Meteorology Group conducted joint measurements of the Marine Atmostphere Boundary Layer (MABL) stratocumulus clouds, thermodynamic structure, surface fluxes, and meteorology in the southeastern pac
The map (Fig. 1) shows the ship track for the cruise. The RHB departed Panama city, Panama on 26th Oct 2004. The ship moved south-west to reach the Atlas buoy at 8 S and 95 W. Then while overhauling all the TAO buoys along the 95 W line it went up till 12 N. Then again moved west till the 110 W line and moved down to 8S while overhauling the 110 W line buoys. The cruise ended with a 5 day westerly route to Arica, Chile (Fig. 2).
Figure 1. The ship departed Panama city, Panama, on October 26, 2004, and finished the cruise in Arica, Chile, on November 27.
Figure 2. The NOAA Research Vessel Ronald H. Brown in port in Arica, Chile, during the 2004 TAO experiment.