Tropical Storm Arthur – There Is Nothing Unusual About the Sea Surface Temperatures Off the East Coast of the U.S.

Bob Tisdale - Climate Observations

Map 1

UPDATE (July 2, 2014):  See the correction at the end of the post.

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This post was prepared in anticipation of the usual nonsense we hear whenever a tropical storm or hurricane forms and is expected to strike the U.S.  The map to the right (Map 1) presents the weekly sea surface temperatures (not anomalies) for the Eastern U.S. Coastal Waters from Florida to Massachusetts (26N-42N, 82W-70W), for the week centered on Wednesday June 25,2014. (Please click the map to enlarge it.)  Seasonally warmed sea surface temperatures from the east coast of Florida northwards to North Carolina are well above the 26 deg C (79 deg F) value needed to generate and maintain tropical storms and hurricanes.

Before we look at the recent sea surface temperature anomalies, let examine longer-term data to put it in context.

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