Wondering what the latest news is on Tropical Storm Cindy or other extreme weather events in the Gulf of Mexico? The Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System (GCOOS) now has web pages where you can find that information and more.
GCOOS created a new page dedicated to tropical weather affecting the Gulf of Mexico -- online at
The page includes:
- Maps with predicted storm tracks, weather forecasts, live web cams along the Gulf coast and more;
- The National Hurricane Center (NHC) weather outlook;
- NOAA satellite loops;
- A Twitter feed with the latest hurricane/tropical weather news from sources like the NHC, National Weather Service (NWS), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Weather Channel and others;
- Links to Gulf state emergency management centers;
- Links to county evacuation and shelter information;
- Plus videos on storm preparation, what to do during a storm and what to do after a storm.
A second GCOOS page --
(the page take a minute to open) -- allows you to interactively explore and build custom maps containing past and current predicted storm tracks, current weather forecasts and storm surge inundation scenarios as well as near real-time observations from weather radar, coastal water level stations, offshore weather, ocean currents, sea surface temperatures and much more. Explore the drop-down menus and the menu bars at the top of the page and see additional information by turning new layers on and off to customize your display. Real-time feeds from coastal web cams also show you the current local weather conditions.
These new weather pages are just two of the data-driven products offered by GCOOS, the only comprehensive data collection and dissemination center for coastal and ocean data in the Gulf. By developing products based on the data collected by our partners and members, GCOOS plays a vital role ensuring a healthy, productive ocean and supporting resilient coastal communities.
The GCOOS data portal collects information from nearly 2,000 ocean sensors and staff develops products to help make the data more accessible (
). Some of our other data products include:
- Tracking maps for underwater robots that are collecting environmental data in the Gulf
- Tracking maps showing the spread of invasive species - particularly lionfish and tiger shrimp
- Time-series plots for harmful algal blooms
- Oil and gas platform locations and historic data from the Deepwater Horizon spill
- Data on nutrients, hypoxic (low oxygen) zones and river discharges
- Gulf sea level trends
While GCOOS and its sister organizations nationwide have established infrastructures, additional tools could help to improve public health and safety and decrease economic losses -- especially in the Gulf.
"We have a well-established infrastructure, but we need additional tools to help improve public health and safety and decrease economic losses from events like oil spills, hurricanes, toxic algae, coastal flooding and tracking changes in the Gulf's Loop Current," said Barbara Kirkpatrick, GCOOS Executive Director. "We're hoping that each of the Gulf states will choose to invest RESTORE Act funds to help fully implement a Gulf-wide observing system."