Current Water temperatures From Upwelling

The upwellings every summer create much cooler water conditions along the coast and into the bays. More so this summer than the past years. Between tides, it is the most noticeable around the bays and some beaches. Over ten degree temperature fluctuations in Masseys ditch, according to the USGS survey station. It is making the fishing a little difficult, and in some cases turned a few species on more. Farther north of us the water temperatures have hit as low as fifty-seven degrees at the Barnegat Light USGS station in New Jersey.
The Nowcast OFS animation for the Delaware Bay shows just how much cooler in near real time animation. That cool pool of water below the hotter surface water is known as the Bight’s Cold Pool

Graphic showing how water upwells as wind pushes along the coast … NOAA



Upwelling occurs when wind pushes warm surface water away from the coast line. Then cooler water from below, rich in nutrients, comes to the surface or upwells. A great natural indicator of an upwelling, aside from water temperatures dropping dramatically is when we start seeing a lot of the Naked Sea butterflies along the beaches. The amount of food pushed towards the shoreline during a upwelling is massive, that food being phytoplankton. Which in turn feeds everything else right up to the top of food chain.

Upwelling’s are also great at just keeping the hot bathtub water temperatures at bay. The opposite of an upwelling is downwelling. This is when hotter surface water “stacks” up against the coast line by winds. Eventually that hotter water sinks to the bottom, or downwells.

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Delaware Bay OFS Water Temperature Nowcast
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For the inland bays I use the USGS National Water Information System for Masseys Ditch to get Inland Bay and river or creek temperatures. This is a real time temperature reading. The graph can also give you an idea of the current tide, if a tide indicator is not present. As the water temperature goes up the tide is going out, as the water temperature goes down the tide is incoming. The peak (top of spike) of the temperature graph is low tide the bottom (valley) of the temperature graph is high tide. I was told recently we could petition or ask the USGS to add a tide indicator to the one at Masseys Ditch. For other USGS stations use the new USGS National Water Dashboard for real-time water data from over 13,500 stations nationwide.

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Masseys Ditch water temperature graph USGS survey station as of 8/11/2022 at 9:00 AM


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