delware environmental institute

News Journal: Cold water helps protect Delaware from hurricanes

Some 50 feet below the surface of the ocean, a pool of frigid water lurks with the ability to lessen the intensity of hurricanes in the mid-Atlantic. This cold pool may influence everything from summer sea breezes – which serve as the seashore's natural air conditioner – to near-shore events where water temperatures drop from bathtublike one day to chilly the next.

Scientists are just beginning to understand the cold pool by using underwater robots called gliders. Twice, gliders were deployed as hurricanes tracked north along the coast, first during Hurricane Irene in 2011 and the following year during Hurricane Sandy.