|07-11-2003, 06:54 AM||#1|
Upwelling on the East Coast
It sure is cooler over there than on the west coast!!
Upwelling of water cools our shoreline
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - The ocean on Florida's east coast has been cooler than normal, and experts know why.
An upwelling, when winds and currents bring cold deep water closer to the surface and the shore, has caused the water temperature in the Atlantic Ocean to drop into the upper 60s and low 70s over the last 10 days.
Although it's a common occurrence, the upwelling is unusually strong and has the ocean temperature about 10 to 15 degrees colder than normal for this time of the year.
Forecasters said the ocean temperature has dropped this low only twice in the last decade, in 1994 and 1996.
The cold water has some swimmers staying on shore and may be responsible for fish kills, algae blooms and a lack of thunderstorms along the coast.
Randy Lascody, a senior forecaster for the National Weather Service in Melbourne, said the upwelling likely was intensified by sustained wind from the southeast that has pushed water to the northeast. As the winds stripped away the warm surface water, cold water from the depths filled the gap.
The Florida current, a strong northward stream flowing along the coastline that moves closer to shore in the summer, has helped magnify the upwelling, said Ned Smith, a scientist with Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution in Fort Pierce.
Researchers said they have noticed the effects of the upwelling along the coast.
In South Florida, thousands of dead fish washed ashore between Juno Beach and Sebastian Inlet last week, some of them with ruptured bladders. Ann Forstchen, a fish health biologist with the Florida Marine Research Institute in St. Petersburg, said the upwelling might have brought the fish from the depths of the ocean to the surface too quickly, causing the burst bladders.
In Brevard County, swimmers faced a 15-mile long mucky, algae bloom last week that scientists think might be partly caused by the upwelling.
And coastal residents might even blame a lack of rain on the cold ocean. Lascody said cool water can make it harder for clouds to form near the beach, keeping most rain inland.
The water will gradually warm back to normal, Lascody said, but it may take awhile.
"It seems we might be past the coolest episode," he said. "But it might still stay cooler than normal (next week)."
- Associated Press
|07-11-2003, 07:24 AM||#2|
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Mt Pleasant SC
Bingo! Same thing here off SC. Big layer of snot and COLD water below the thermocline. I hope this does not have a negative affect on the berried female lobs right now. Seems the fish are very scarce in the cold water below the cline too. Anyone else notice that?
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