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Wilmington, NC

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Frying Pan Shoals Climatology

Sea Surface Temperature

The sea surface temperature is warmest during August (82 deg. F) and coldest during February (62 deg. F).  The greatest variation in sea surface temperature occurs December through March, which is likely a result of interactions of the Gulf Stream and cool shelf waters.  Eddies from the Gulf Stream can bring much warmer temperatures to the Frying Pan Shoals while strong offshore flow in the wake of cold fronts can push the cooler waters across the shelf farther offshore. The warm temperatures in August and September help fuel hurricanes that may track off the Southeast United States Coast, while the sharper sea surface temperature gradient supports Nor'Easter development.

Extremes: Highest Temp.  90 F August 29, 1987   Lowest Temp.  49 F Jan 27, 1985 

Graph of Average Water Temp at Frying Pan Tower

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Page Last Modified July 31, 2005
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