NAFO Sci. Coun. Studies, 19:15-29
Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Physical and Chemical Sciences Branch
Bedford Institute of Oceanography, P. O. Box 1006
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada B2Y 4A2
Environmental conditions in the Northwest Atlantic during 1990 are summarized from time series of oceanographic and meteorological data such as those from fixed stations and the repetitive coverage of surface conditions by satellites and ships of opportunity. Cold conditions prevailed during the winter of 1989-90 with the coldest sea-surface temperature anomalies located in the Labrador Sea and the Labrador Current. These conditions arose through intense atmospheric cooling caused by strong northerly winds and cold air temperatures. These cold conditions contributed to a relatively heavy ice year off Newfoundland and in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Above normal sea-surface temperatures were observed from the Labrador Sea to the Mid-Atlantic Bight during the summer and autumn with the largest anomalies being recorded in the southernmost region. On the continental shelf, annual sea-surface temperature anomalies were positive from the southern Scotian Shelf to Cape Hatteras.