Tehuano Wind Colors the Ocean
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Tehuano Wind Colors the Ocean

January 17, 2004
In the Central American winter, gale-force winds from the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea race through narrow breaks in the Cordillera Mountains, gusting to speeds normally found only in major hurricanes. When these winds blow, the sea follows. The wind mixes the normally warm surface waters with colder, nutrient-rich water that lies beneath. Blooms of algae appear in the path of the winds, fueled by the banquet of nutrients. An entire food chain depends on these episodic wind events. The winds find passage over the mountains in three major locations. The Tehuano wind blows from the Gulf of Mexico through Chivela Pass in Mexico and out over the Gulf of Tehuantepec on the Pacific coast.

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