THURSDAY AUGUST 24 - OCEAN TEMPERATURES FROM SPACE: A WEB SITE


Now that we're in hurricane season, forecasters look very carefully at measurements of ocean temperature. That's because hurricanes generally don't form unless the water's at least 80oF, and once a hurricane gets going, thereís a strong correlation between hurricane intensity and the warmth of the water. Enter satellite images.

From space, satellites can estimate the sea-surface temperature to within a degree or two. Amazingly, this is possible even where it's cloudy. These measurements are colorized and displayed in maps such as this one which shows global ocean temperatures from earlier this week.

You can get images like this on the web at

www.fnoc.navy.mil

And you can get closeups of the Atlantic and the East Coast waters at

fermi.jhuapl.edu

These days, there's no better way to monitor the ocean than from space.

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