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TAO Performance Continues to Improve

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has completed the fourth of six cruises scheduled for this calendar year to service the Tropical Atmosphere Ocean (TAO) array in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. During September, a National Data Buoy Center (NDBC) field service team aboard NOAA's research vessel Ron Brown, replaced 12 TAO buoys on the 125W and 140W longitude lines from latitudes 8S to 9N.

The first three cruises that NDBC conducted this year were in April on NOAA research vessel Ron Brown and in both June and August on M/V Bluefin, that is under contract with NOAA. Twenty TAO buoys on the 95W, 110W and 180W longitude lines were replaced during those cruises.

Data availability from the TAO array has improved dramatically to 70% from the 28% low in March.

NOAA has two more TAO service cruises planned through December 2014 on NOAA research vessel Ron Brown. NOAA expects the data availability of the TAO array to be at the target 80% after the final cruise is complete.

Photo of TAO buoy beign retrieved to ship