The role of local wintertime atmospheric heat flux in determining springtime temperature variability in the northern Middle Atlantic Bight during 1965-1973

  • Taylor M
  • Mountain D
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Abstract

This project examines the role of local atmospheric forcing during the transition from relatively cold wintertime to relatively warmer springtime temperatures in the northern Middle Atlantic Bight (MAB) region during 1965-1973. A one-dimensional water column model is run for eight consecutive winter seasons with local surface heat flux used as the only external forcing. Historical data from the Nantucket Light Ship, along with modeled radiation estimates for New York and Boston are used for the heat flux calculations. Two model simulations were made for each winter season, allowing for both a qualitative and quantitative comparison of model output with observed regional temperature variability and with observed temperature changes measured at Nantucket Lightship (NLS). Interannual variability (IAV) in local atmospheric heat flux during wintertime is shown to be a dominant factor in determining springtime temperature conditions during the study period. However, the residuals from a regression analysis suggest that advective processes may have contributed to the observed temperature variability, although it is believed that the advective influence is secondary to local surface heat flux in the northern MAB for this study period.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Atmospheric forcing
  • Continental shelves
  • Middle Atlantic Bight
  • Temperature anomalies

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Authors

  • Maureen H. Taylor

  • David G. Mountain

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