Researchers and forecasters often study sea surface temperatures for an indication of hurricane potential. Scientists say above normal Atlantic Ocean temperatures is one reason for the 'above normal' hurricane forecast. Hurricanes convert heat from the tropical atmosphere and oceans to wind and waves, just as a car engine converts gasoline into motion. These animations show a year in the life of global ocean temperatures, June 2, 2002, to May 11, 2003. Blue indicates the coolest water, red the warmest. The Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E) on the Aqua satellite is able to take measurements through clouds to provide sea surface temperatures.
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 220.127.116.11.0