Labrador current

From Glossary of Meteorology

Labrador Current

The western boundary current of the North Atlantic subpolar gyre.

The current receives considerable input of Arctic Surface Water originating from the East Greenland Current and supplied through the West Greenland and Baffin Currents. Its mean transport is close to 35 Sv (35 × 106 m3 s-1). The current is strongest in February when it carries 6 Sv more water than in August. It is also more variable in winter, with a standard deviation of 9 Sv in February but only 1 Sv in August. Near the Grand Banks it forms the polar front, also known as the cold wall, with the northward flowing Gulf Stream, with which it shares the shedding of eddies. The cold water of the Labrador Current allows icebergs from western Greenland to travel as far south as 40°N, the latitude of southern Italy.

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