The Gulf Stream Ocean Current

Image Credit: F-5 Weather Data

The Gulf Stream is a warm ocean current that travels from the East Coast of Florida all the way northward along the Eastern Seaboard until it gets near North Carolina and Virginia then it starts to make its way back eastward out to sea.

The significant impact of this ocean current, as you can see in the image above, is that the waters are warm and this enhances everything from the climate along the East Coast. It will also lead to a milder winter along the East Coast in this region.

Another important feature of this current is the fact that it intensifies low pressure systems that move along this region.

During the winter, this current is responsible for making the winter storms stronger along the Eastern Seaboard. Also the Hurricanes in the Atlantic like to ride along this current as it provides them with the warm waters they need to get stronger and maintain their strength.

Along the Northern Edge of this current there is a boundary where colder waters of the North meet the current. This creates a huge marine ecosystem contrast between the colder waters and the warmer waters and creates features called eddies in the water which are areas of warm water or cold water getting displaced away from the main current. In the image above you can see a warm eddy to the Northeast of the image identified by the blue circle.