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Fall 2010 Update: Spring Sea Surface Temperature Distributions

The progression of spring sea surface temperatures (SSTs) for the months of January through June 2010 are shown in the left hand set of panels. Higher SSTs appear as warm shades; 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 highlights both high SSTs (the red shades) and low SSTs (the blue shades). The shelf was cooler than average in January, and exhibited average temperatures in February. But the spring warming in 2010 was exceptional, with above average temperatures over much of the shelf by April. By June, all the shelf waters were extremely warm at temperatures far above average.

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