[Coral-List] Present Bleaching Event - PR & USVI etc.

scott.stripling scott.stripling at noaa.gov
Thu Sep 22 11:23:58 EDT 2005

With the NE Caribbean currently located underneath an elongated area of 
low pressure,
light and variable winds will continue to dominate the region for the 
next 1 to 2 weeks.
Computer models are forecasting only brief (6-12  hour periods) of anything
approaching normal trade wind flow during this time. Thus the stagnant 
mixing conditions will
persist regionally through the first week of October, at the least.

Scott Stripling

Alan E Strong wrote:

> *NOTICE - Bleaching continues to evolve throughout Eastern Caribbean*
> Beginning in the central Keys during August (Sombrero Key especially) 
> the warm water episode and accompanying bleaching for this year is 
> progressing south and eastward through Cuba, Puerto Rico and the 
> Virgin Islands.  This can visually be seen in our recent 12-week 
> composite of HotSpot accumulations - Degree Heating Weeks (DHWs):
> http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/PSB/EPS/SST/data2/dhwa.9.19.2005.gif
> and HotSpots:
> http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/PSB/EPS/SST/data/hotspotwnc.gif
> Extremely high DHWs above "8" in much of the Virgin Islands are quite 
> worrisome as these levels in past bleaching events typically bring 
> some mortality to corals.  This evolving episode continues to be at 
> near unprecedented levels of thermal stress for this region since our 
> satellite records began in the mid-80s. From the chart one can observe 
> that eastern Puerto Rico is under higher levels of thermal stress at 
> present than western PR....hence the recent reports of considerable 
> bleaching.  Until some reduced solar radiation and/or wind & mixing 
> comes to the "rescue" we worry about prospects along much of the 
> Windward Islands toward South America over the next month or so.
> Sorry our repot couldn't be more positive.
> Regards,
> Al Strong
> NOAA's Coral Reef Watch
> http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov/satellite/index.html
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>Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov

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