September 18, 2012

Decrease in Tropical Cyclone Heat Potential

Sea Surface Temperature Summary:
As of September the 18th sea surface temperatures (SST) measured by buoys show a range from approximately 81 – 85 degrees Fahrenheit, this translates to 27.2 – 29.4 degrees Celsius. More sophisticated analysis can be seen with the National Weather Service’s Real Time Ocean Forecast System. This system shows a maximum sea surface temperature of 33.2 degrees Celsius (91.76 Fahrenheit) to a minimum of 24.8 degrees Celsius (76.6 Fahrenheit). This is well within the range that NASA considers the minimum SST of 82 degrees Fahrenheit for the formation of a hurricane.
Tropical Cyclone Heat Potential:
However, there are many other factors within the realm of sea temperature and outside of it that can influence the formation of any tropical weather activity. That is why the measurement and analysis of tropical cyclone heat potential can serve as another avenue to better understand the likelihood of hurricanes. According to the NOAA and the AOML, surface ocean current’s height and temperature are compared along with circulation features. This is then expressed in a unit of energy (kJ cm-2) to show variable changes of heat potential. The following graphics show that from August 22nd to September 16th there has been a considerable decrease in tropical cyclone heat potential that has occurred directly around Florida.

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