Gulf Stream off US East Coast - related image preview

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Gulf Stream off US East Coast

In this false-color Terra MODIS image, the Gulf Stream can be seen flowing to the northeast off of the United State’s eastern seaboard. This image is a false-color representation of water temperatures of the Atlantic, and since the Gulf Stream is a warm current, it shows up clearly against the surrounding waters. Temperatures are shown in a color range; progressing from low to high are purple, blue, turquoise, green yellow, orange, and red. Black represents a lack of data, and is used predominantly to represent land. The Gulf Stream shows up as a winding rope of orange and yellow against the cooler green and blue waters.

The Gulf Stream is a warm surface ocean current that is born in the Gulf of Mexico and flows northeast across the Atlantic Ocean at an average 4 miles per hour (though it slows as it widens in the northeast). It’s driven by prevailing southwest winds, and its humid mild air influences climate in the UK and northwestern Europe. It is one of the strongest currents in the world. Near its beginning the Gulf Stream’s temperature is around 80 degrees F, though it cools as it moves northeast toward Europe. This image was acquired on April 13, 2003.

Image by Donna Thomas/MODIS Ocean Group NASA/GSFC SST product by R. Evans et al, U. Miami

Published April 22, 2003
Data acquired April 13 - 13, 2003

Terra > MODIS