Fall 2008 Update: Spring Sea Surface Temperature Distribution
The progression of spring sea surface temperatures for the months of January through June are shown in the left hand set of panels. Higher SSTs appear as warm shades whereas low SSTs appear as cool shades. The right hand set of panels show exceptional anomalies of SST, those tending to exceed plus or minus one quarter of a standard deviation of the overall SST for the field. This type of anomaly tends to highlight high SSTs in an area, the red shades, and SSTs well below the average in an area, the blue shades. The progression of spring warming was generally at average levels for most of the Northeast Shelf with the exception of cool conditions that were established during May. The variation in thermal conditions was greater in the southern subregions of the shelf including the Middle Atlantic Bight and Southern New England. In most months, the Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank subregions experienced average SST conditions. When cool SST conditions were observed in these areas, often only parts of the subregion were affected.