Calculated and observed changes in sea surface temperature associated with hurricane passage.
Jensen, Jack James
Leipper, Dale F.
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Analyses were made of the sea surface temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico in August for the four years 1965 through 1968. No one pattern was found to predominate. The subsurface temperature profiles were then considered, and a rate of simulated withdrawal of 4000 calories of heat per day was made, until there was no heat in excess of 26 C. This withdrawal represented heat removed during passage of a hurricane. Difference analyses were constructed for the initial sea surface temperature at each station and that after twenty-four hours of simulated withdrawal. The differences ranged from less than one degree to over four degrees. Again, no consistent pattern was found but generally areas of high concentrations of heat experienced smaller decreases. Actual sea surface temperatures collected after two hurricanes were then analyzed and compared to temperature patterns predicted by the computer model. Illustrations of the relative availability of sensible heat energy for different sea surface temperatures are presented and a hypothesis made to account for the greater than average intensities of Hurricanes Betsy (1965) and Camille (1969).
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