Coastal upwelling involves an upward movement of deeper, usually colder, water to the surface. Satellite sea surface temperature (SST) observations and simulations with a hydrodynamic model show, however, that the coastal upwelling in the Baltic Sea in winter can bring warmer water to the surface. In this study, the satellite SST data collected by the advanced very high resolution radiometer (AVHRR) and the moderate-resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS), as well as simulations with the Parallel Model 3D (PM3D) were used to identify upwelling events in the southern Baltic Sea during the 2010–2017 winter seasons. The PM3D is a three-dimensional hydrodynamic model of the Baltic Sea developed at the Institute of Oceanography, University of Gdańsk, Poland, in which parallel calculations enable high-resolution modelling. A validation of the model results with in situ observations and satellite-derived SST data showed the PM3D to adequately represent thermal conditions in upwelling areas in winter (91.5% agreement). Analysis of the frequency of warm upwellings in 12 areas of the southern Baltic Sea showed a high variability in January and February. In those months, the upwelling was most frequent, both in satellite imagery and in model results, off the Hel Peninsula (38% and 43% frequency, respectively). Upwelling was also frequent off the Vistula Spit, west of the Island of Rügen, and off the eastern coast of Skåne, where the upwelling frequency estimated from satellite images exceeded 26%. As determined by the PM3D, the upwelling frequency off VS and R was at least 25%, while off the eastern coast of Skåne, it reached 17%. The faithful simulation of SST variability in the winters of 2010–2017 by the high-resolution model used was shown to be a reliable tool with which to identify warm upwellings in the southern Baltic Sea.
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