The Cold Alaskan Current (Why the ocean is cold in California, Oregon and Washington State

Discussion started by robweather 4 years ago

The Alaska Current is a southwestern warm-water current along the coast of British Columbia and the Alaska Panhandle. The current results from the northward diversion of a portion of the North Pacific Current when that current meets the west coast of the North American continent. It forms a part of the counterclockwise gyre in the Gulf of Alaska. In contrast to typical sub-Arctic Pacific water, Alaska Current water is characterized by temperatures above 39°F (4°C) and surface salinities below 32.6 parts per thousand.

 

In the northern Gulf of Alaska, the Alaska Current continues into the Alaskan Stream, which begins near Kodiak Island and flows southwestward along theAlaska Peninsula. The Alaska Current produces large clockwise eddies at two sites: west of the Queen Charlotte Islands ("Queen Charlotte Eddy" or "Haida Eddies") and west of Sitka ("Sitka Eddy").

 

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El Nino can play a part on the temps of Alaskan current on a big El Nino year biut overall the temps will not vary too much due to the source in the Arctic Ocean.  California temps off the coast can range from 48 to 73 depending on the time of the year but most of the year it is quite chilly to go swimming without a swimsuit esp. if surfing.

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