The temperature distribution of the surface water in the Gulf of Mexico as determined by certain short period averages of commercial vessel reports is shown to be reliable. Comparison is made with the distributions as determined for three periods from data obtained by scientific oceanographic
surveys made in 1951 and 1952. Comparison is also made with mean monthly sea surface temperatures. The limitations of the latter are mentioned, and the suggestion is made that running short period averages of commercial vessel reports be used for practical purposes, i.e., meteorological
and oceanographic research, and forecasting air mass modification over the Gulf.
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