GOOD CONDITIONS FOR ATLANTIC HURRICANES!
For continual updates on Sea Surface
Temperatures, please visit:
http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a000000/a003300/a003397/index.html

When asked what factors forecasters are watching,
Patzert said “The jet stream has remained
stubbornly north, the possibility of a
late-developing La Nina is lurking and Gulf of
Mexico and Caribbean sea surface temperatures are
ripe for late-season hurricane development.”
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NASA -National Aeronautics and Space Administration

FEATURE

NASA Eyes Current Sea Surface Temperatures For Hurricanes

08.16.07

Sea surface temperatures are one of the key
ingredients for tropical cyclone formation and
they were warming up in the Gulf of Mexico,
Caribbean and eastern Atlantic Ocean by the
middle of August. As a result, they helped spawn
Hurricane Dean in the central Atlantic, and
Tropical Storm Erin in the Gulf of Mexico, both
during the week of August 13.

By late June, sea surface temperatures in the
Gulf of Mexico were all over 80 degrees
Fahrenheit. That’s one thing that hurricane
forecasters watch for because sea surface
temperatures of 80 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer
are needed to power tropical depressions into
tropical storms and grow them into hurricanes.

These areas or warm sea surface waters (80
degrees F or higher) are depicted in yellow,
orange, and red. This data was taken by the
Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer – EOS
(AMSR-E) instrument aboard the Aqua satellite.
This animation updates every 24 hours.

This animation shows the progression of warm
waters slowly filling the Gulf of Mexico (shown
in yellow, orange, and red). This natural annual
warming contributes to the possible formation of
hurricanes in the Gulf. Sea surface temperature
data shown here ranges from January 1, 2007 to
the present.

NASA’s Bill Patzert, oceanographer at the Jet
Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. said,
“The many Atlantic and Gulf citizens still
reeling from the shock of the 2004 and 2005
Atlantic hurricane seasons, received some good
news Å  the Atlantic sea surface temperatures that
fuel hurricanes are somewhat cooler than the past
few years. Based on this, some forecasters have
reduced their forecasts. But the news is mixed.”

When asked what factors forecasters are watching,
Patzert said “The jet stream has remained
stubbornly north, the possibility of a
late-developing La Nina is lurking and Gulf of
Mexico and Caribbean sea surface temperatures are
ripe for late-season hurricane development.”

While the experts debate, Gulf and Atlantic coast
residents should definitely be prepared. A
forecast for an above or below average hurricane
season is just an academic exercise if a
community is hit.

Hurricane season ends on November 30.

For continual updates on Sea Surface
Temperatures, please visit:
http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a000000/a003300/a003397/index.html

Find this article at:
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hurricanes/archives/2007/sst_hurr.html

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