Synoptic Analysis of Near Surface and Subsurface Temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean following Hurricane Betsy



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Texas A&M University Department of Oceanography


Data from sea surface temperature and bathythermograph radio messages are utilized in analyzing the thermal change in the Atlantic Ocean during the passage of Hurricane BETSY, 1965. Seven-day average sea surface temperature patterns show changes of 4 F in the wake of the hurricane, where upwelling is shown to have taken place. Two temperature sections based on observation made before and after the storm passage are composed across the hurricane path. The first temperature section, taken one week after storm passage, indicates upwelling from the depth of 200 feet. The second section, representing three weeks after storm passage, shows upwelling to have occurred but because of the time lag between storm passage and BT observation, much of this area has mixed and has been advected slightly to the north. In addition, the second section clearly shows an area of downwelling. Magnitudes of the thermal changes are shown by computations of the change in heat content for a square centimeter column of water. Results of the analyses compare favorably to previous studies based on research data and may be of use to the oceanographic forecaster.


40 pages


hurricane Betsy, hurricanes, sea surface temperature