Correlation of sea surface temperature with cloud patterns off the west coast of North America during the upwelling season
Gerst, Anthony Leo
Jung, Glenn H.
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The possibility of a correlation between sea surface temperature (SST) and cloud patterns was investigated using cloud photos from the satellites NMBUS II and ESSA VI (1968). Five types of correlation were found to exist: the correlation between status and the California Current and upwelling areas in a warm air mass, between clearing and the California Current and upwelling areas in a cold air mass, between stratus and the upwelling areas under favorable conditions, between frontal clouds and warm tongues of surface water, and between vortices and cold tongues of surface water. A sixth type of correlation was between the surface isobaric pattern and the orientation of cold and warm tongues of surface water. Finally, the divergence of the surface isobars was found not to correlate with the stratus pattern. An awareness of the physical conditions off the coast was vital to seeing and understanding these correlations. A model SST analysis, using the six types of correlation observed, represented the actual SST analysis significantly better than the historical SST analysis.
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