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Interannual Variability in Sea-Surface Temperature at One Location along the Central California Coast.
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA
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Sea surface temperature SST since March 1, 1971 at Granite Canyon, just north of Pt. Sur, California, are examined for interannual variability. Each of four El Nino episodes occurring over the past 13 years can be easily detected in the raw data. Annual mean temperatures are significantly higher during the El Nino years. The 1982-83 El Nino episode was more intense than the previous episodes temperatures were as much as 5C above normal during the episode and it lasted about 20 months. Major abrupt decreases in SST were frequently observed during the spring. These events are identified as the spring transition to coastal upwelling and appear to be most intense following El Nino episodes. Empirical Orthogonal Function analysis of the data indicates that maximum variability in SSTs occurs between October and February and that it coincides with the four El Nino episodes occurring over the past 13 years. Author
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE