Scatterometer-Derived Winds Over the QE II Storm

  • John A. Ernst
Part of the Marine Science book series (MR, volume 13)


During the period 11, 12 September 1978 an intense extratropical storm carrying hurricane-force winds (≥ 64 kts) moved northeasterly from West Central through North Atlantic waters. Concurrently, the oceanliner Queen Elizabeth II (QE II) was inadvertently transiting this same area enroute on a westbound transatlantic crossing. Figure 1, a portion of the 11 September 78/1100 GMT Full Disk Visible image from the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, GOES - East, gives an overall synoptic view of the cloud system associated with the QE II storm. Note the script-tau (г) cloud system configuration that typically is the signature of a well-developed, mature extratropical cyclone, now termed the QE II storm. To the south, tropical Storm Flossie, centered near 30.5N 47.5W, has just begun to merge with the tail of a wide-banded cold front that trails in a southwesterly spiral from the QE II storm. Figure 2, a portion of the Northern Hemisphere Surface Analysis Chart valid 1200 GMT, shows the analyzed structure of the storm and the ship’s position near 48.5N 39.3W. With waves at or above 50 feet and winds of 60 – 65 knots, damage to the starboard bow rails and port platform amounting in excess of $50,000 was incurred.


Cloud System West Central Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite Synoptic View North Atlantic Water 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • John A. Ernst
    • 1
  1. 1.Spacecraft Oceanography GroupNational Environmental Satellite Service, NOAAUSA

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