Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Record warm ocean temperatures

Water at the Shore was warm -- very warm.

Record warm ocean temperatures

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As early as Memorial Day weekend, unusually high ocean-water temperatures at the Shore lured bathers and created quite a buzz during the summer.

It turns out that the sea-surface temperatures off Atlantic City for the June 1-Sept. 30 period -- 72.9 -- constituted a record.

According to Jim Eberwine, long-time marine forecaster at the local National Weather Service office and now retired, the 72.9 beat the former champ, 2011, by 0.5 degrees.

An obvious factor in toasting the surf was the overall warmth of the summer, but that wasn't the only factor.

Notably absent were those periods of upwelling in which cooler waters from the deep migrate to the surf and chase everyone out of the water.

The upwelling results from steady winds from the south and southwest, associated with the position of the so-called Bermuda high.

Winds circulate clockwise around highs, and since that high typically is centered somewhere near Bermuda, the Shore experiences winds form the south.

Those persistent winds weren't a factor during the summer.

In June and July surf temperatures were better than 6 degrees above long-term normals, and they cooled off some in August and September.

The 2011 average temperature, 72.5, broke the standard set in 1952, Eberwine said.

The records date to 1912.

 

 

Inquirer Weather Columnist
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Everyone talks about the weather, and here we write about it.

When we’re around and conditions warrant, we’ll keep you updated about what’s coming, but we will do our best always to discuss weather and climate developments in context and remind you that nothing in the atmosphere happens in a vacuum.

Tony Wood has been writing about the atmosphere for The Inquirer for 26 years.

Reach Tony at twood@phillynews.com.

Tony Wood Inquirer Weather Columnist
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