ACCURACY OF SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURE ANALYSIS-PART I.
NAVAL OCEANOGRAPHIC OFFICE NSTL STATION MS
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Five sea surface temperature analyses Fleet Numerical Weather Facility, Monterey Fleet Weather Facility, Norfolk NAVOCEANO 15-day composite H. O. 225 Atlas and a historical chart are compared with surface temperatures obtained on a recent airborne radiation thermometer flight. The flight from Halifax, Nova Scotia, to Patuxent River, Maryland, was made under conditions of clear skies and with sufficient wind to mix the surface film. Fleet Weather Facility, Norfolk and the NAVOCEANO composite analysis proved most reliable with mean absolute errors of 3.7 F and 3.6 F, respectively. These charts were also considered more useful in that they show details such as countercurrents, the north wall of the Gulf Stream, and other high gradient areas. A May 1965 mean monthly sea surface temperature chart was used as a historical chart and had an error of 3.8 F. The Atlas and Montereys charts had errors of 5.3 F and 9.6 F, respectively. By elimination of bias, errors were reduced on all analyses Fleet Weather Facility showing the smallest error, 3.2 F. It is concluded that considerable improvement can still be realized in sea surface temperatture analyses once sufficient data of a reliable nature are available. With present data input, the Fleet Weather Facility manually prepared, subjective chart provides the most reliable sea surface temperature information for the ASWEPS area. Author
- Physical and Dynamic Oceanography