Why does the Loop Current tend to shed more eddies in summer and winter?



[1] The observed seasonal preferences of Loop Current eddy shedding, more in summer and winter and less in fall and spring, are shown for the first time to be due to a curious combination of forcing by the seasonal winds in the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. The conditions are favorable for the Loop to shed eddies in summer and winter when strong trade winds in the Caribbean produce large Yucatan transport and Loop's intrusion, and concurrently when weak easterlies in the Gulf offer little impediment to eddy shedding. The conditions are less favorable in fall and spring as the trade winds and Yucatan transport weaken, and the strengthening of the Gulf's easterlies impedes shedding.