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mike Meehan

Current Sea Temperatures Around UK

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What sort of effect could that have on the weather?

Well if these persist into winter it could boost thundery potential around our coastal locations but perhaps make the potential for snow around coastal locations more difficult but instead improving convection and more showers could penetrate inland especially in a cold spell.

Edited by Costa Del Fal

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I imagine it will impact on night time minima- they are likely to be higher than average over the next couple of months. Indeed I've noticed in my area already that there have been very few cool nights over the summer, and by day even with very ordinary synoptics and unfavourable wind directions we've still recorded temperatures slightly above average. Today is an exception of course but we've still reached 17C which isn't a disaster given the almost relentless heavy cloud.

 

I would have thought the high SSTs would also increase the likelihood of a warmer than average autumn.

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The below link shows that the sea temps around the UK are pretty well up on average.

 

http://www.surf-forecast.com/breaks/Brighton_1/seatemp

 

Thanks for sharing the link Mike. If we get a cold blast from the East this winter, the above average sea temps in the North Sea (if maintained) could trigger some heavy convective snow showers if we're lucky (assuming you're a snow lover of course!). It'll be worth tracking the SST anomalies as the winter progresses. Here's the chart for today, 13th August 2014, showing North Sea temps +2c to +3c above the long term average for this time of year:

 

post-20040-0-85400000-1407962104_thumb.j

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This link:http://www.channelcoast.org/data_management/real_time_data/charts/ gives the latest coastal observations (though more so for Channel coasts), the sites from Poole east to Hastings were generally showing above 20C until Bertha came along and has mixed up the waters a bit, though still 19-20C in that area. Some sites around the SW seem to have had bigger drops.

 

I tend to follow this link http://ghrsst-pp.metoffice.com/pages/latest_analysis/sst_monitor/ostia/sst_plot.html?i=34&j=2 and it shows SST's to have dropped quite a lot in recent days out in the western Channel, in fact if you switch to anomalies (link below the key) there's quite a lot of average or even slightly below average water around/offshore from parts of the UK that wasn't there before..

 

As for effects on the weather assuming SST's are above average into Autumn, as mentioned it could give some kind of positive bias to temperatures, and probably aid coastal convection/thunder risk a bit. No doubt the coastal 'storm season' would start in late September once I've gone back to my inland uni (as the 'inland' storm season ends).

Edited by Evening thunder
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......until Bertha came along and has mixed up the waters a bit, though still 19-20C in that area. Some sites around the SW seem to have had bigger drops.

 

I tend to follow this link http://ghrsst-pp.metoffice.com/pages/latest_analysis/sst_monitor/ostia/sst_plot.html?i=34&j=2 and it shows SST's to have dropped quite a lot in recent days...

 

Probably uses the same base source (Ostia)? But as it's a chart from the Met Off, it's possibly the better bet for following SST's this Autumn/Winter? Thanks for the link Evening Thunder. It's interesting how one vigorous low pressure system can impact the sea surface temps quite so much (but I guess that's a consequence of the shallow nature of the waters off the UK). With the next week forecast to see strong, cold N. Westerly's blowing, the SST's could continue their decline.

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Probably uses the same base source (Ostia)? But as it's a chart from the Met Off, it's possibly the better bet for following SST's this Autumn/Winter? Thanks for the link Evening Thunder. It's interesting how one vigorous low pressure system can impact the sea surface temps quite so much (but I guess that's a consequence of the shallow nature of the waters off the UK). With the next week forecast to see strong, cold N. Westerly's blowing, the SST's could continue their decline.

 

It may use the same source I'm not sure, but think it's quite good for a general view (even if it may not pick out the high detail of local temperature differences around the coast which can happen).

 

Temps seem to have fallen more in some places than others, some areas around the coast haven't registered too much of a drop (still 18-19C)

 

It can be surprising, what tends to happen is strong winds/large waves mix warmed upper layers with cooler water below which causes the temperature near the surface to drop. In the case of this summer it had been quite calm until recently so limited mixing had occurred and surface layers were notably warmer than average. It's this surface warming (probably along with its shallowness) and non-mixing that allowed the enclosed Baltic to warm to over 23c in places recently, up to 9.5c above average! Though temps are dropping back there now.

In some cases strong offshore winds could can also drag surface water away from a coast causing up-welling of cooler deeper water.

I would prefer SST's not to drop further yet but yes they may well do with cool NW'erly winds.

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.....strong winds/large waves mix warmed upper layers with cooler water below which causes the temperature near the surface to drop. In the case of this summer it had been quite calm until recently so limited mixing had occurred and surface layers were notably warmer than average..... I would prefer SST's not to drop further yet but yes they may well do with cool NW'erly winds.

 

As anticipated, the unseasonal weather (cool with brisk N to N/W winds) over the last week has reduced the SSTs around the UK. Evening Thunder's post above giving the likely explanation.

 

Typically temps are down by 2c in the seas to the North and East of the UK, although the impact in waters to the S and SW of the UK is less marked. SSTs now range from 18c off Southern coasts, to 13c to 14c around Scotland.

 

I've decided to use the charts suggested by Mike Meehan at the start of this thread as I prefer the graphics over the charts produced by the Met Office/National Centre for Ocean Forecasting (NCOF). The charts are from surf-forecast.com (owned by meteo365.com, the same crowd behind snow-forecast.com). I've checked them against the NCOF and the SSTs are the same, just the graphical presentation differs.

 

Actual SSTs 19/8/14  post-20040-0-98822800-1408563213_thumb.j  SST Anomaly 19/8/14  post-20040-0-86732100-1408563280_thumb.j

 

Edit: I meant to mention the excellent and long standing thread "Sea Surface Temperatures" started by Bornfromthevoid some while back but still going. Full of great posts including causes and effects of SSTs. I guess that thread is more a global view whilst this thread is UK focussed?

Edited by Blessed Weather

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The sea surface temps around the UK are pretty much in line with where they should be for the time of year. Little change around Scotland's coast from the charts I posted 2 weeks ago, temps holding at 13c to 14c, but down a degree or two around southern Britain's coast at 16c to 17c.

 

Actual SST's 31/08/14: post-20040-0-37753100-1409682309_thumb.j  Anomaly against long term average  post-20040-0-72471500-1409682381_thumb.j

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It’s been a month since I posted the UK SST’s and SST anomalies for the 31st August. At that time the UK had just experienced a very cool and unsettled August and not surprisingly the sea temperatures had been pulled down over the month from an above average start figure to more in line with the long term average.

 

One month on and the UK has just experienced a notably warm and settled September. Not surprisingly the UK SST’s for the 30th September reflect this, with temperatures around Scotland’s coastline holding steady at 13C (close to the long term average), whilst temps around Southern England have actually crept up a degree from 17C to 18C (typically +2C above the long term average). In the SW approaches temps have climbed from 17C to 19C (+3C above long term average).

 

UK SST’s 30th Sept 2014: post-20040-0-79987100-1412186210_thumb.j  Anomaly against long term average: post-20040-0-68347400-1412186475_thumb.j

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