Air-Sea Observed Surface Temperatures and Their Distribution in Hurricanes, Gulf of Mexico
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA
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Observed near-surface air and sea-surface temperatures for three hurricanes -- Hilda 1964, Betsy 1965 and Camille 1969 -- were studied. Composites were made for each of the storms. These composites were oriented to true north, had diameters of 400 n mi and covered the period in the Gulf of Mexico prior to the time the hurricanes reached maximum intensity. The mean air temperature was less than the mean sea-surface temperature, and this difference varied from 1.2C in the outer region of the composites to 2.9C near the center. In the 24-hour period prior to maximum hurricane intensity, the difference was 4.3C near the center. The data also indicated that the distribution of air-sea temperature difference within the hurricanes varied by quadrant with the southeast quadrant containing the largest over-all average difference 2.4C and the southwest quadrant averaging 1.1C.
- Physical and Dynamic Oceanography