California Current Along The West Coast Of The United States

The California current flows along the West Coast of the United States and is classified as a cold ocean current. The current flows from North to South bringing colder waters from the North to the south. Some climate impacts that this current has on the West Coast include stronger longer periods of rain showers and t-storm activity. The reason for this is because of the waters being colder not allowing for strong convection to occur.

The second impact this current has is that it keeps the immediate coastline from Seattle to San Diego cooler than the rest of the region. For example San Diego might only get to 70F while just to the east the temp may increase rapidly into the 90’s.

This current is also responsible for what is known as a “Marine Layer” of fog that hampers the coast in the summer and can be really dense depending upon how warm the air is right above the region.

This current is strongest during the winter allowing for the region to not get as cold during winter.

EL-Nino’s impact is that it alters the southern portion of the current just enough allowing for very intense weather systems to form in Southern California during the winter months.

The flow of the current changes just near Central California as it starts to push westward back into the Pacific.