HURRICANE HEAT POTENTIAL OF THE GULF OF MEXICO.
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CALIF
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An analysis of the hurricane heat potential of the Gulf of Mexico early in the hurricane seasons for the individual years 1965 to 1968 was conducted. Results show that if the heat content of water at 26C is taken as zero, then the amount of heat available per sq cm in the Gulf varies from approximately 700 to 31,600 calories. The areas of high heat content are found to vary yearly. Further, since the sea surface temperature decrease during a storm depends upon the near surface vertical temperature gradient, the temperature differences between the surface and 30m depth were also studied. Vertical temperature differences were found to vary from 0C to 11.6C, depending upon location. Computations based on ranges of heat content and vertical temperature structure showed that a passing hurricane with an assumed flux from the sea of 4,000 calsq cmday would cause the sea surface temperature to decrease some 3.1C per day in some regions but only 0.8C in others. Author
- Physical and Dynamic Oceanography