Tag Archives: sea surface temperatures

Gulf Goes Nuts

July 19, 2005

July 19, 2006

That, I think, says it all.

This is exactly what worries me about this hurricane season. The entire Gulf can support a Category 5 now, and the East Pacific, despite being slightly cooler than the Gulf, has already produced the powerful Category Four Hurricane Daniel.

The rest of the ocean isn’t quite this warm, but it doesn’t really matter. As an example, Katrina entered the Gulf as a minimal hurricane and became a Category 5 as a direct result of low shear and boiling temperatures without entering any other body of water. Here is what the water temperatures looked like before Katrina’s entrance (using the same scale as the previous pictures):

The Gulf is clearly well on its way to this level.

The Gulf Coast, as battered as the infrastructure may be, must do something in preparation, and soon. There are people who still need housing. There are communities still struggling after Katrina. Parts of New Orleans remain a war zone.

Unless this season is extremely unusual, some spot on the Gulf Coast is likely to take a major hurricane strike in 60 days or less.

Please. Nobody wants to see yet another catastrophe.

Gulf of Mexico resumes rapid warmup

For awhile, the seasonal warming of the Gulf of Mexico didn’t keep pace with the warming of 2005 (at the same time of year). That appears to have changed. It’s no real surprise, with temperatures near the Coast approaching 100 degrees in places and record highs being set on an almost-daily basis (the old records mostly having been set last year or over the past decade).

June 21, 2005: June 21, 2006:

Different regions are warming, definitely… and in fact, I’d recommend a comparison of June 2005 and June 2006. At this point last year, the Gulf was in a brief cooling trend. This year, it is in what can only be described as explosive warming.
June 2005 June 2006

(In other, completely, wholly unrelated news, yet another scientific study backs up the idea of human-induced explosive global warming.)

BTW, minor props to me for calling Alberto. Didn’t quite make hurricane status, nor do I expect it to be upgraded retroactively at the end of the season, but not too bad. At the end of the season, I’ll look over my various predictions and see how accurate they were overall.