VIIRS Sea Surface Temperature patterns in the Gulf of Mexico

January 21st, 2015 |
Suomi NPP VIIRS Sea Surface Temperature (SST) product

Suomi NPP VIIRS Sea Surface Temperature (SST) product

A sequence of four AWIPS images of the Suomi NPP VIIRS Sea Surface Temperature (SST) product (above) showed very detailed information about the SST patterns in the Gulf of Mexico on 21 January 2015. Two features in particular are worth noting: (1) what appears to be a train of Kelvin-Helmholtz instability waves along one of the northern boundaries of the Loop Current (best seen on the 06:52 UTC image), and (2) a small-scale cyclonic eddy located between the far northern edge of the Loop Current and the Mississippi River Delta. On the final 19:57 UTC image, SST values in the general region of this small-scale eddy ranged from 46.7º F at the Mississippi River Delta (cyan color enhancement) to 79.7º F (darker red color enhancement) near the northern edge of the Loop Current – a difference of 33º F within a distance of only about 100 miles.