North Atlantic surface wind vector flow lines over sea surface temperature from June 1, 2011 to October 31, 2011.
These visualizations show the directional flow and magnitude of surface wind vector data (calibrated to a 10 meter reference height) from June 2011 through October 2011. The first two of these visualizations include an underlay of sea surface temperature (SST) data rendered to show two unique perspectives: 1) a regional perspective of the North Atlantic region to highlight tropical cyclone activity and 2) the global perspective. A third visualization shows the surface wind vector flow lines colored to show the clear distinctions in wind speed. A color bar is provided below for interpretation.
As large storms such as hurricanes move over warm waters, notice how the SST cools. Warm surface water powers these storms, and as the storms absorb this energy they tend to leave cooler water trails in their wake. A great example is Hurricane Irene, which became a hurricane as it crossed the island of Puerto Rico and skirted the eastern and northern coastlines of Hispaniola on August 22, 2011. As Hurricane Irene enters the open Atlantic Ocean, the storm intensifies and an SST cooling effect is clearly visible in the wake of the storm track. This cooling effect takes place due to latent and sensible heat fluxes as well as well as wind-induced upwelling. The wind-induced upwelling is most pronounced to the right of the storm track.
GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation:
Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version 184.108.40.206.0