That was crazy upwelling the other day, i know what upwelling it is-the displacemnet of warmer surface water with colder deeper water, but why is a south wind the worst? wouldnt one think a west wind would be worse since its blowing the warm water straight out? And a north wind or northeast makes the water warmer even though its parallel to shore like a south wind. Never could figure this one out.
This is called the Ekman Transport effect. Due to the spinning of the earth on its axis(the Coriolis affect) , the movement of the ocean gets deflected to the right in the northern hemisphere and to the left in the southern hemi.
The eckman transport shows that the average movement of ocean water at all depths (and thus the Ekman transport) is 90° to the right of the wind in the Northern Hemisphere. This means that a South wind will create an average ocean movement to go from the west to the east. Whereas a N wind will create an average ocean movement to go from the east and towards the west. Whenever we get those strong S/SW winds, expect the water temp to drop.
Do a search on Ekman Transport and you'll find some stuff...
PS. Don't confuse the ocean current direction with the direction of the waves. Waves are energy that move in the direction of the where the wind is blowing (not taking in other influences, such as refraction, defraction, and wave/current interactions).
Last edited by Swellinfo; Jul 5, 2010 at 07:29 PM.