Spring 2011 Update: Fall Sea Surface Temperature Distribution
The progression of fall sea surface temperatures (SSTs) during the months of July through December 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 SST anomalies, those tending to exceed plus or minus one quarter of a standard deviation of the overall SST for the field. The anomaly figures highlight above (red shades) and below (blue shades) average SSTs in a given area. Above average SSTs were observed during the months of July and August reflecting the warm condition found throughout the shelf during spring and the first part of the summer. During September, most of the shelf was at or near average conditions and by October, much of the area south of Cape Cod was below average. By early winter, Georges Bank and the Middle Atlantic Bight were at significantly below average temperatures. Offshore patches of warming and cooling are typically due warm and cold core rings associated with the Gulf Stream. The Scotian Shelf, which is a source of water for the Northeast Shelf, was relatively warm this past fall.