The entire Northeast U.S. Continental Shelf was warm in 2012 compared to the period of 1977-1987. Warm conditions penetrating to the ocean bottom over much of the region. Warming was greatest during the late winter in the southern Middle Atlantic Bight, peaking during summer elsewhere. Bottom waters in the Middle Atlantic Bight Cold Pool were warmer and this feature was slower to erode in the fall, perhaps due to enhanced stratification brought on by warmer surface conditions in the preceding spring/summer. Conditions in the Gulf of Maine were also warm, driven by atmospheric heating at the surface and by the advection of a warmer/saltier variety of slope water mass at depth.
Description of the 2012 Oceanographic Conditions on the Northeast U.S. Continental Shelf