IEM Daily Feature
Monday, 11 June 2012

Winds from the gulf

Posted: 11 Jun 2012 05:39 AM

The world's oceans are a major source of water vapor in our atmosphere which leads to precipitation over land. Being well inland within a continent, Iowa's main source of moisture in our atmosphere comes to us thanks to Gulf of Mexico. By looking at prevalent wind directions for observation sites near the coast like Beaumont, Texas, we can get an approximation of how much of the surface air flow is coming inland off of the ocean water. The featured chart presents the frequency of having on-shore flow at this point in Texas against the precipitation total for the month of June here in Iowa. The implication is that by having more on-shore flow, our moisture supply will increase and lead to more precipitation in Iowa. The chart mostly verifies this, but our precipitation is not as simple as looking at wind flows off of the gulf. Certainly, this metric provides some insight into the atmospheric circulation regime that may help to enhance our precipitation. The value so far this June is presented and would somewhat support the notion that our flow of moisture off the gulf has been limited somewhat this year.

Good = 74
Bad = 14

Tags:   gulf   june   texas