14th Conference on Satellite Meteorology and Oceanography


Multi-sensor analysis of cold water along the Mid-Atlantic coast during midsummer 2003

Donglian Sun, George Mason Univ., Fairfax, VA; and M. Kafatos and R. Yang

During the midsummer of year 2003, anomalous cold water along the Mid-Atlantic coast region was observed, which affected local tourism and fishing. This study presents the analysis of sea surface temperature (SST) from the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) and sea surface wind from the NASA Quick Scatterometer (QuikScat). The results of satellite remote sensing data are supported by buoy and surface weather data. Empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis has been carried out to extract features of the SST field. The first EOF mode (containing 35.6% of the variance) reveals a strong cross-shore gradient with cooler water along the coast and warmer water off the coast. The negative temporal amplitude of mode 1 coincided with the increase of westerly wind, while southerly winds strengthen in advance of a sharp increase in an eigenvector plot. The present analysis shows that the approach of surface cold front resulted strong offshore and alongshore winds may have induced offshore and coastal upwelling along the Mid-Atlantic coast, as a result anomalous cold water was found along the Virginia coast of the Mid-Atlantic region during July 2003.

Poster Session 3, Environmental Applications
Wednesday, 1 February 2006, 2:30 PM-2:30 PM, Exhibit Hall A2

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