Australia Sea Surface Temperature
The sea surface temperature (SST) varies much more slowly than atmospheric temperatures due to the heat capacity of water. As such, the SSTs lag the atmospheric temperatures on a seasonal timescale by about 3 months. The lowest SSTs are usually observed in early Spring and the highest SSTs are observed in early Autumn.
In tropical regions, SSTs greater than 26°C are considered suitable for formation of tropical cyclones.
The data displayed in this map is the weekly average, centred on the date shown.
The full devastation brought on by Tropical Cyclone Debbie will not be known until the morning, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has warned, as the system is further downgraded to a category two.
Cyclone Debbie has been downgraded to a category two system after crossing the north Queensland coast.
The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has declared Cyclone Debbie a catastrophe and warned that, while there is no estimate of a damage bill yet, previous cyclones have cost billions of dollars.