Characterizing the South Atlantic Bight seasonal variability and cold-water event in 2003 using a daily cloud-free SST and chlorophyll analysis

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Abstract

[1] Concurrent MODIS sea surface temperature (SST) and chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) data are used with a new technique: Data Interpolating Empirical Orthogonal Function (DINEOF) method to produce daily, 4-km, cloud-free SST and Chl-a analyses for the South Atlantic Bight in 2003. Comparisons between SST analysis and in situ buoy temperature demonstrate the utility of DINEOF. To quantify linkages between surface wind, SST, and Chl-a variations, Empirical Orthogonal Function (EOF) analysis is applied to North American Regional Reanalysis winds, and cloud-free DINEOF SST and Chl-a analyses. Wind EOF modes highlight upwelling winds from June to September. While the first SST mode represents seasonal heat flux variations, the second SST mode shows a direct response to upwelling winds with an abrupt drop in SST. The top two Chl-a EOF modes show less connection with wind. More subsurface Chl-a and nutrient observations are needed to quantify its relation with surface wind.

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