El Nino and La Nina for the Navy

TAO array

locations of the moorings in the equatorial Pacific

The TAO Array is a series of 69 carefully placed buoys in the tropical Pacific Ocean, started in 1985 and completed in December 1994. Each buoy has instruments that records air and sea temperature and they transmit their data to satellites daily. With all the buoys forming an array, there is a clearer picture of the changes that are a telltale sign of a coming El Niņo.

The following is a schematic of the buoy used:

schematic of an Atlas mooring

Last Reviewed: June 2001
Arlene Guest