Check out the warm loop current! While it has been a cold/snowy winter in the Deep South, the loop current is still staying strong in the Gulf! This warm feed of water will eventually help warm up the rest of the Gulf of Mexico rapidly. You could see the same/similar setup last year, when the Gulf was completely worked over with constant northerly flow! If anything, it looks healthier/stronger at this point compared to last year! This does NOT mean it will be warmer this year, but it may lead to some early development in the Gulf if upper level conditions are favorable. See Hurricane Alex last year as a possible similar early trend? Here is an awesome satellite loop showing stratus/cumulus development near the surface, just above the loop currents warm waters! Thanks to Mark Sudduth for the satellite loop! Enjoy!
SST anomalies on Feb. 15th, 2010
SST anomalies on Feb. 14th, 2011