Spring 2007 Update: Long Term Temperature-Area 5 (Mid Atlantic Bight)
Index area 5 of the long term ERSST dataset overlaps most of the Mid Atlantic Bight area of the shelf. The annual mean SST for area 5 during 2006 was 15.9°C which is greater than the long term mean of 15.4°C, but still less than the maximum of the time series of 17.4°C. SSTs were higher during the mid-century warming period of the 1940s, and nearly as high as the beginning of the time series. Winter-summer temperature difference has been increasing during the last few decades, which has been interpreted as an effect of climate change. The winter-summer difference was 15.5°C in 2006, which is greater than the long term mean of 15.2°C, but still less than the maximum difference of the time series of 18.1°C. The trend curve suggests that winter-summer temperature difference was elevated during the past few decades but may be decreasing in the most recent decade. Finally, the fall SST index for this area is patterned similarly to the annual mean with a value of 15.7°C in 2006, which is greater than the long term mean of 15.2°C, but still less than the maximum of the time series of 17.7°C.