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.
15:19 EST Editor's note: This story has been updated to clarify that the higher prices predicted by livestock agent Kevin Currie would be paid for dressed weight and not live weight bullocks, as was suggested in the original story.