Thursday, January 01, 2015

It Is Warm Here Because

Boot Key Harbor, Marathon, Florida

Happy New Year! I planned to post an article today entitled Year Of Zeroes, but I spilled those beans already in our season's greetings. Briefly in 2015, LIbby and I are both 70, Tarwathie is 40, it will be our 50th wedding anniversary, and our grape at granddaughter Anna will be 100 days old.

Instead, I'll write about something that has been on my list for a while (And to post some cool pictures). That is a little bit of geography that explains why the weather is so darned nice right here. In short, we have The Gulf Stream just a few miles away.

The Gulf Stream is one of this planet's largest heat engines. It conducts heat from the tropics up to the northern North Atlantic. The Gulf Stream is the reason why Sweden and Europe are so much warmer than similar latitudes in Siberia and Alaska.

The most concentrated part of the Gulf Stream is where it goes through The Florida Straights. That is just a few miles from here. Almost every day, we see clouds in the same places that mark the Gulf Stream's location. In the picture below, see the bottleneck just south of Florida.

X marks our spot on the sea temperature chart below. The water here is nearly constant 26C.

Being close to such a big source of constant temperature water makes the air temperature nearly constant too. It's that simple.

It is also true that most storms and cold fronts either disappear or are greatly weakened before reaching the keys. Hurricanes are a different matter, but we are never here for hurricane season.

Even the legendary Bahamas, have less nice weather than The Keys.





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