Definitions

Florida Current

Florida Current

The Florida Current is a thermal ocean current that flows generally from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean. The current was discovered by Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon in 1513.

The Florida Current results from the movement of water pushed from the Atlantic into the Caribbean Sea by the rotation of the Earth (which exerts a greater force at the equator). The water piles up along Central America and flows northward through the Yucatán Channel into the Gulf of Mexico. The water is heated in the Gulf and forced out through the Florida Straits, between the Florida Keys and Cuba and flows northward along the east coast of the United States.

The Florida Current is often referred to imprecisely as the Gulf Stream. In fact, the Florida Current joins the Gulf Stream off the east coast of Florida.

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