Loop Current boundary variations


  • Fred M. Vukovich


The periodicity of warm ring separation from the Loop Current and the characteristics of cold perturbations found along the Loop Current boundary were studied using a long-term data set made up of NOAA satellite infrared images. The results showed that the period between separation of warm rings from the Loop Current was highly variable. The average period was about 10.9 months. The minimum period was 6 months, and the maximum period was 17 months. For the data set used, ring separations occurred most often in the winter. The study of the cold perturbations indicated that these perturbations were most pronounced along the northern and eastern portions of the Loop Current boundary and were less pronounced south of 27°N along the western boundary. The data suggested that the perturbations either formed or intensified in the northwestern portions of the boundary. The large effects along the eastern boundary of the Loop Current were thought to be associated with the movement of the intense perturbations that are initially found along the northwestern portions of the boundary.