August 2016

Tropical Storm Hermine and Tropical Depression Eight Passing Over SECOORA Assets

Tropical Depression Eight and Tropical Storm Hermine are dousing the SECOORA region.

Tropical Depression Eight

Tropical Depression Eight is moving slowly away from the North Carolina coastline. According to the National Hurricane Center it is centered about 75 miles east-southeast of Cape Hatteras.

SECOORA and US IOOS support marine weather buoys off of the coast of North Carolina and South Carolina. The weather sensors on the buoys captured the data of Tropical Depression Eight in real time.,storm_tracks

Pictured above is 1 week data plot from buoy ILM3. Monday August 29 and Tuesday August 30 is when the storm passed over the University of North Carolina Wilmington Coastal Ocean Research and Monitoring Program buoys. Contact Lynn Leonard, UNCW, for more information. Or visit the CORMP page to explore more data.   For warnings and briefings visit the NWS Wilmington NC website.

Tropical Storm Hermine

Wednesday August 31, Tropical Depression Nine was upgraded to Tropical Storm Hermine (pronounced “her MEEN”). According to the NWS Tampa Bay Weather Forecast Office, the storm is forecast to gradually strengthen as it lifts northward then northeast, eventually making landfall across the eastern Florida Panhandle and Big Bend region on Thursday. The system is forecast to slowly intensify over the next day or two.

Tropical Storm Hermine is the 8th named storm of the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season. A NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft found maximum sustained winds have increased to near 40 mph (65 km/h) with higher gusts. For warnings and briefings visit the NWS Tampa Bay website.

SECOORA and US IOOS funded marine weather buoys, C10, C12 and C13, in the Gulf of Mexico are capturing Tropical Storm Hermine in real time.



The buoys are part of the University of South Florida’s Coastal Ocean Monitoring and Prediction System (USF COMPS) program. Click here to explore the data.  Contact Bob Weisberg, USF College of Marine Science, for more information.

Resources Relevant to the Tropical Depressions

Below are some resources for you to watch the storm and it’s effects.

SECOORA Data Portal

The SECOORA Data portal is a tool to explore, download and visualize ocean and coastal data in the SECOORA domain. When a storm is approaching, check out the sensors map to see the storm data in real time.

SECOORA Marine Weather Portal

The Marine Weather Portal provides marine observations, forecasts and short and long-fuse warnings for the coastal waters of North Carolina, South Carolina and northern Georgia and the Atlantic and Gulf Coast areas of the Southern Region. Click here to access the MWP.

Please note the MWP will be upgraded next year.

University of South Florida’s Coastal Ocean Monitoring and Prediction System (USF COMPS)

USF COMPS consists of an array of instrumentations along the West Florida Shelf.  The data collected supports the a variety of management issues, including more accurate predictions of coastal flooding by storm surge, safety and efficiency of marine navigation, search and rescue efforts, and fisheries management. . Buoy data from C12 in the Gulf of Mexico is pictured on the right. Access data here.

University of North Carolina Wilmington Coastal Ocean Research and Monitoring Program (UNCW CORMP)


The University of North Carolina Wilmington's Coastal Ocean Research and Monitoring Program (CORMP), established in 2000, operates nine mooring stations in North Carolina and South Carolina. Access data here.

Weatherflow StormTrack

StormTrack allows you to see the latest predicted track of an identified storm. By using our wealth of real time observations, meteorological tools, and precision models, you can see exactly how each storm is progressing. Each storm page grants access to premium level data for the duration of the storm.   Click here to access the StormTrack.


Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador™

As a Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador™, SECOORA is committed to working with NOAA and other Ambassadors to strengthen national resilience against extreme weather.  Click here to read more about WRN.Explore SECOORA partners and member organization hurricane support resources by clicking here.

Meet the 2016 - 2017 Executive Committee

Congratulations to the 2016-2017 Executive Committee! We are honored to be working with this talented group of individuals. SECOORA Executive Committee plays an important role in sustaining our success. If you are interested in becoming a SECOORA member, please visit:

Quinton White, Chairman

A. Quinton White, Jr., Ph.D., is Executive Director, Marine Science Research Institute and Professor of Biology and Marine Science at Jacksonville University. The Marine Science Research Institute building opened in 2010 and is the first LEED certified Gold building on the JU campus. Dr. White joined the faculty at Jacksonville University in 1976, having completed his Ph.D. at the University of South Carolina at the Baruch Institute for Marine Biology and Coastal Research.  Dr. White has written numerous research and technical papers or reports and received grants and contracts to support marine research at JU.  Currently he is conducting research on the history of human impact on the Florida environment and especially on the St. Johns River with a focus on manatees and water quality issues. Dr. White has been active in the Jacksonville community and writes a monthly column in the Florida Times-Union called “River Life”. He is President-elect of the Southern Association of Marine Labs.  Recent awards have included Florida Wildlife Federation Marine Conservationist of the Year in 2015, the Regional Leadership Award from the Northeast Florida Regional Council and the City of Jacksonville’s Christi P. Veleta Environmental Award in 2014. He was honored by Leadership Jacksonville in 2011 as a Community Trustee. In 2010 he received the City of Jacksonville Mayor’s Environmental Achievement Award.       


Rick DeVoe, Vice-Chairman

Rick DeVoe joined the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium in 1980, its inaugural year, and has served as its Executive Director since 1997.  Rick is also a member of the Graduate School Advisory Board and the Marine Biology Council of the Graduate Program in Marine Biology at the College of Charleston, and the Board of Advisors for the Center for Marine and Wetland Studies at Coastal Carolina University.  Rick serves as Co-Chair of the Board on Oceans, Atmosphere, and Climate with the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU), and is a member of the Executive Planning Team for the Governor’s South Atlantic (Ocean) Alliance, the S.C. Regulatory Task Force for Coastal Clean Energy, the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition Think Tank, and the Charleston (S.C.) Resiliency Network Steering Committee, among other appointments and affiliations.  Rick’s professional interests focus on coastal and marine resource policy, state and regional coastal ocean planning and policy, ocean observing, marine aquaculture policy, coastal resiliency, science-to-application linkages, and science communication and education.  He earned his undergraduate degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University and graduate degrees from CUNY/City College of N.Y. and the University of Rhode Island.




Peter Hamilton, Secretary

Dr. Hamilton is a senior scientist at the Raleigh, NC office of SAIC (now Leidos, Inc), a major company that uses scientific investigations to solve problems for government and private clients. During more that 35 years experience, Dr. Hamilton has been involved as a Principal Investigator in many oceanographic environmental studies ranging from estuaries (the Chesapeake Bay and the Columbia River) to the deep (> 2000 m) basins of the Gulf of Mexico. The Raleigh office has performed many multi-year environmental studies for the Minerals Management Service (MMS, now the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)) that are required for Oil and Gas leases. These studies typically require deployment of moorings with many different types of instrumentation, running ship-based surveys, analysis and management of data, and production of reports. Examples include the Mid-Atlantic Slope and Rise Program (MASAR), the South Atlantic Bight Physical Oceanography Study, the Frontal Eddy Dynamics Experiment (FRED) in the NC bays, the Straits of Florida Transport Study, and the North Carolina Physical Oceanographic Field Study off Cape Hatteras. In the Gulf of Mexico, programs include the Louisiana - Texas (LATEX) Circulation Study, the DeSoto Canyon Eddy Intrusion Study, deepwater studies in the northwest, central and eastern slope regions, a major field study of the Loop Current, and a Gulf-wide deep circulation study using Lagrangian (RAFOS) floats. For the latter two programs, Dr. Hamilton also filled the PM role. Some of these studies involved verification, in terms of physical processes, of numerical circulation model output using observational data analysis. Other work has involved monitoring sewage outfalls for the city of Honolulu (HI), and Los Angeles and Orange Counties (CA) using observations (some in near real time) and dispersion models. Site designation studies were performed for dumpsites in the New York Bight (106-mile site) and the near the Farallone Islands off central California, again using observations and models. These latter investigations were multi-institutional with participants from universities, private industry, and government agencies.


George Maul, Treasurer

George A. Maul earned his Bachelor of Science degree (with honors) from the New York Maritime College at Fort Schuyler, and was licensed a U.S. Merchant Marine Officer; he received his doctorate in physical oceanography from the University of Miami, where he later taught as Adjunct Professor of Meteorology and Physical Oceanography. George served 9 years as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, and 25 years as a research oceanographer with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration where he received 3 Distinguished Authorship Awards. Dr. Maul currently is professor of oceanography at the Florida Institute of Technology, and for 20 years was department head of Marine and Environmental Systems; he is a recipient of Faculty Senate Excellence Awards for Service, and for Teaching.  He has been chief scientist on numerous oceanographic cruises, and has published over 200 refereed articles and book chapters on oceanography and meteorology, editorials, technical reports, refereed abstracts, and books. He is a Fellow of the Marine Technology Society, a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society, and the 2016 Florida Academy of Sciences Medalist.



Jeff Copeland, At-Large

Dr. Jeffrey Copeland is Chief Scientist at WeatherFlow Inc. (since 2013), a leader in the private sector weather industry, with experience in applying the latest in observational, modeling, and forecasting technology to solving its clients’ most challenging problems in the consumer, financial, energy, and government sectors. He has over 20 years of experience working in government and private industry. His current research is on the landfall effects of Gulf and Atlantic tropical systems. Prior to his position at WeatherFlow he spent a decade at the National Center for Atmospheric Research with earlier positions at Mission Research Inc., National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research (New Zealand), and USGS Water Resources Division. Jeff received his B.Sc. from McGill University, M.Sc. from UCLA, and Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science from Colorado State University.

Dr. Bill Hogarth Honored with Top Fishery Conservation Award

Pictured is Dr. Bill Hogarth (right) with fellow SECOORA Members at the SECOORA 2015 Annual Meeting

Recently retired Florida Institute of Oceanography Director Bill Hogarth was honored with the Carl R. Sullivan Fishery Conservation Award by the American Fisheries Society. Also known as the “Sully,” the award is one of the nation’s premier honors in fisheries conservation science.

“No one deserves the ‘Sully’ more than Dr. Hogarth. As the past SECOORA Vice Chair, Dr. Hogarth provided valuable input on the importance of fisheries in ocean observing,” reflected SECOORA’s Executive Director Debra Hernandez. “His career has made a noteworthy impact on the fisheries community, including all the linked economic and ecosystem interests impacted by fisheries management.”

The award recognizes a wide span of achievements in Dr. Hogarth’s 51-year-career in marine science, beginning with his research into threatened fish species; his roles as director of the National Marine Fisheries Service and chairman of the International Whaling Commission; and his service as the former dean of the University of South Florida’s College of Marine Science and Director of the Florida Institute of Oceanography. During his career, Hogarth is credited with bringing greater international attention to preserving threatened fish species such as the Atlantic Blue Fin Tuna and sharks, and serving as a credible voice for independent science in preserving and protecting the world’s oceans. Hogarth retired as FIO’s director on July 31.

Read more here.

Atlantic Hurricane Season Still Expected to be Strongest Since 2012

In its updated 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook, NOAA calls for a higher likelihood of a near-normal or above-normal season, and decreases the chance of a below-normal season to only 15 percent, from the initial outlook issued in May. The season is still expected to be the most active since 2012.

Forecasters now expect a 70-percent chance of 12–17 named storms, of which 5–8 are expected to become hurricanes, including 2–4 major hurricanes. The initial outlook called for 10–16 named storms, 4–8 hurricanes, and 1–4 major hurricanes. The seasonal averages are 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes. Read the story on the NOAA website.

U.S. IOOS Director Search Open

Zdenka Willis, the Director of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®) Program Office will be retiring in January 2017 after more than a decade directing and guiding the U.S. IOOS Program. NOAA has opened a national search for a Director. The full position announcement can be found at USA Jobs. The deadline for applications is September 4, 2016. The U.S. IOOS Program Office is housed in NOAA's National Ocean Service.