Enhanced turbidity of waters along the Gulf Coast

November 12th, 2009 |
MODIS true color images (30 September, 01 November, 10 November)

MODIS true color images (30 September, 01 November, 10 November)

A sequence of three MODIS true color images from the SSEC MODIS Today site (above) showed an increasing level of turbidity of the water along the Gulf Coast — the 3 images are from 30 September, 01 November, and 10 November 2009. This increase in turbidity can be directly attributed to the runoff of sediment-rich water due to heavy precipitation across much of the Gulf Coast states from late October into early November, as shown in the 14-day observed precipitation map (below). Special thanks to Steve Davis and Jeff Craven at the National Weather Service forecast office at Milwaukee/Sullivan for creating/capturing these images and bringing this case to our attention!

14-day observed precipitation

14-day observed precipitation

AWIPS images of the MODIS Sea Surface Temperature (SST) product (below) showed that the Gulf of Mexico immediately offshore was significantly colder due to this discharge of sediment-rich water from rivers draining from the Gulf Coast states — SST values were in the low to mid 60s F (darker green colors) right along the coast, compared to the mid 70s to near 80º F (darker red colors) farther offshore.

MODIS Sea Surface Temperature product (November 10 - 12)

MODIS Sea Surface Temperature product (November 10 - 12)

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