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R. K. Reed

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R. K. Reed

Abstract

Recent estimates of oceanic rainfall were compared with measured amounts at 35 islands in the central and western North Pacific. A group of stations on small atolls in a region of convective rainfall had amounts that were 1.2 times that over the open ocean; but other low islands in an area of frontal rain received over twice as much rainfall as at sea. The greatest rainfall occurred at a group of high islands in the western Pacific. Even on small atolls, island data are not reliable indices of oceanic rainfall.

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R. K. Reed

Abstract

Weather reports for the 1970s decade were used to derive the mean annual distributions of surface properties and to compute the surface fluxes of heat over the tropical Pacific Ocean. The net heat flux obtained was greater than other estimates, and there is an annual heat gain by the ocean everywhere between 20°N and 20°S. The amounts and patterns appear plausible when compared with major features of the ocean circulation. The seasonal cycles of sea surface temperature, net heat flux, and wind speed were examined for eight regions; the results suggest that, except off Peru and near the equator, the seasonal variation of surface temperature is caused by variations in surface heat flux.

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R. K. Reed

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R. K. Reed

Abstract

Recent oceanic data and measurements at Johnston Island were used to examine insolation over the tropical Pacific by comparison with empirical formulas which are reliable for mid-latitudes. In the eastern Pacific the observed insolation is in reasonable agreement with the formulas, but over the central and western parts of the ocean the observed values are systematically larger than the estimates. This is in agreement with earlier studies of Quinn and Burt who concluded that insolation over these areas was greater than estimates from formulas because of extensive cirrus cloudiness in the absence of other types. Finally, it is concluded that Budyko's climatological values are too low in the tropics, primarily because of systematic errors in the formulas that he used.

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R. K. Reed

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Measurements of insolation at sea are reported and used to compare with a recent empirical formula for computing insolation. The measured and computed results are in good general agreement over a vast region of the eastern Pacific between 7°S and 66°N. Measurements and computations differ by a few percent in the mean over some regions, apparently because of atypical cloud cover.

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R. K. Reed

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R. K. Reed

Abstract

Data at 12 ocean weather stations were used to determine the amount of precipitation by a method devised by Tucker (1961), and precipitation frequency at each site was taken from recent climatic atlases. By combining the above data, monthly and annual estimates of precipitation intensity were calculated. The monthly intensities were then corrected for a suspected bias in Tucker's assessments. Precipitation can be calculated from these intensities and climatological maps of frequency; monthly and annual values have standard deviations of 12 and 9% of the means, respectively. The results are believed to have general applicability to extratropical regions. Furthermore, in data-sparse areas, use of intensities with frequencies can provide a more reliable estimate of oceanic rainfall amounts than Tucker's method.

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R. K. Reed

Abstract

Three drifting buoys were deployed off Kodiak Island and tracked by satellite in summer 1978; all three veered out of the southwestward flowing Alaskan Stream and moved to the cut and northeast around the Gulf of Alaska gyre. This is the first direct measurement of recirculation around the gyre, but the pattern is strikingly similar to what was inferred two to three decades ago from property distributions and it has been predicted theoretically.

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R. K. Reed

Abstract

The results of two studies that reported procedures for estimating insulation at sea are summarized. The insulation under clear skies may be computed reliably with a formula derived from the Smithsonian Meteorological Tables, using a transmission coefficient of 0.7, or with a formula derived by Lumb. For estimating the reduction of insolation by clouds, the factor 1−0.62C+0.0019α is suggested, where C is cloud amount in tenths and α is noon solar attitude. Random errors of estimate within 95% confidence limits are less than 10% for mean monthly data and are about ±20% for weekly periods.

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