November 1, 1992 to February 28, 1993
Project Location: 
Western Pacific Ocean
Project Phase: 
Data Stewardship
Project Description: 

The TOGA COARE Intensive Observing Period (IOP) occurred from 1 November through 28 February 1993. During these 4 months, nearly 1200 people from more than 20 nations conducted more than 700 days of ship operations, released nearly 12,000 rawinsondes, completed 125 aircraft flights, and maintained continuous operation of 30 moored instrument systems. In the months prior to and following the IOP, a few key atmospheric sounding systems and a few special oceanographic moorings were operated as part of the TOGA COARE enhanced monitoring.

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Science Objectives

TOGA COARE had four science goals, aimed to describe and understand:

  • The principal processes responsible for coupling of the ocean and the atmosphere in the western Pacific warm pool system
  • The principal atmospheric processes that organize convection in the warm pool region
  • The oceanic response to combined buoyancy and wind stress forcing in the western Pacific warm pool system
  • The multiple-scale interactions that extend the oceanic and atmospheric influence of the western Pacific warm pool system to other regions and vice versa

Project Operations

Intensive operations occurred in the western equatorial Pacific Ocean region centered on the COARE Intensive Flux Array (IFA). Coordination of intensive operations occurred from an Operations Center in Townsville, Australia. An analysis and communications center in Honiara, Solomon Islands, supported turboprop aircraft operations from that site; aircraft also operated from Townsville and from Rabaul, Papua New Guinea. Ships called at ports in Australia, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, and the Mariana Islands.

Australian Bureau of Meteorology forecasters located in the Townsville Operations Center provided forecast support for the entire region of operations. Their analyses, along with satellite images, daily reports from ships in the IFA, and upper air data transmitted via the Global Telecommunications System (GTS) or via GOES satellite through NCAR, constituted the main information by which to view and monitor weather and operations.

During the course of intensive operations, COARE participants endured long becalmed periods, severe squalls, fuel and water shortages, equipment failures, malaria, and the general stress of weeks and months of operations far from home.


All photos copyright University Corporation for Atmospheric Research unless otherwise noted.