Cutter Crew Returns Home After Hurricane Detection Mission

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Elm will return to Ft. Macon, N.C., tonight after a 42-day deployment in the Caribbean where they set hurricane-detection buoys to improve forecasting.

The crew placed two National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration buoys off Puerto Rico in an effort to fill a gap in important weather data coming from warm, storm-generating waters there.

The buoys measure wind, waves, barometric pressure and air and sea temperatures to determine hurricane formation or dissipation, extent of wind circulation, maximum intensity and center location.

The hurricane buoys will provide year-round data for analysis and forecasts of other marine disturbances, but are more robust than other weather buoys because they contain an internal back-up system.

The Coast Guard Cutter Elm is a 225-foot buoy tender that usually operates between New Jersey and North Carolina.

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