The term “the North Pacific Current” is applied to the general eastward flow of warm water to the east of 160°E longitude. In other words, in the North Pacific Ocean the extended part of the Kuroshio Current beyond 160°E Long is named as the North Pacific Current or North Pacific Drift like the North Atlantic Drift in the North Atlantic Ocean.

At about 150°W longitude, the current divides into several branches. The main branch turns south between 150° W long and 135°W long. Another branch moves ahead and flows in a southerly direction between the Hawaiian Islands and the west coast of North America.

The water of this current mixes with waters of different origin. Thus, it is clear that the main part of the North Pacific Current does not extend across the Pacific Ocean, but turns towards the west in the longitude of the Hawaiian Islands.

That branch of the North Pacific Current which bends towards south, later on joins the California Current, and part of it disappears in the North Equatorial Current in the subtropical convergence zone. In this way, in the North Pacific Ocean a vast clockwise rotating gyral is formed.


Let us remember that the origin of the North Pacific Current is accounted for by the westerlies and the deflective force produced by the rotation of the earth.