Date of Award

Spring 1983

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Ocean/Earth/Atmos Sciences


Atmospheric and Earth Sciences

Committee Director

James E. Smith

Committee Member

John Zack

Committee Member

Earl Kindle


A study of increased winds during the winter season off the United States Eastern Seaboard was made in each of four synoptic flow patterns: prefrontal; postfrontal; northeast; and southerly. Eight years of synoptic data for the months October through March from two pairs of stations were utilized. Each pair consisted of one land and one sea station; of the sea stations, Frying Pan Light was located in or near the warmer water of the Gulf Stream while Chesapeake Light was situated in colder, coastal water. Both land stations were situated in the vicinity of the coast.

A statistical analysis was made of the following data: mean monthly frequency of occurrences; mean monthly duration of occurrences; mean monthly sea surface temperatures; mean monthly air-sea temperature differences; mean monthly maximum wind speeds; mean monthly sea-land wind speed differences; percentage breakdown in categories of the mean monthly maximum wind speeds; and the absolute maximum and mean monthly durations of mean maximum wind speed categories.

The results of the data analysis indicated that, in general, wind speeds and the durations of the occurrences were greater at Wilmington/Frying Pan Light, where the water temperature was warmer, than at Norfolk/Chesapeake Light.