Atlantic Waters May Be Cool But Gulf of Mexico Ripe for Peak of Hurricane Season

By  //  July 27, 2018

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CENTRAL GULF NEARLY TWO degrees above average

There’s potential trouble cooking in the Gulf of Mexico for the coming peak portion of the Atlantic hurricane season. (Image by NHC, NOAA)

(Weather Underground) – There’s potential trouble cooking in the Gulf of Mexico for the coming peak portion of the Atlantic hurricane season.

A near-record amount of heat energy in the ocean waters. Sea surface temperatures (SSTs) are near average, (84° – 86° F) in the eastern Gulf, where persistent cloud cover and windy conditions in recent days have acted to keep SSTs from warming to above-average levels.

However, SSTs are 86° – 88° in the central and western Gulf, more than  1.8 degrees above average. That’s a lot of heat in the waters for potential hurricanes to feast on. But SSTs don’t tell the whole story.

When a slow-moving hurricane traverses a shallow area of warm ocean waters, the hurricane’s powerful winds will churn up cold waters from the depths, cooling the surface and putting the brakes on any rapid intensification the hurricane may have had in mind.

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SSTs in the Gulf of Mexico on July 25, 2018 ranged from 84° – 88° F, an average of  1° F above average when summed over the entire Gulf. (Image by Levi Cowan, tropicaltidbits.com)

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