Historical surface marine observations are summarized by 1-degree square area and long term month to describe the seasonal distribution of wind stress over the California Current. Off the coasts of southern California and Baja California, an alongshore equatorward component is present throughout the year. The distributions north of Cape Mendocino are characterized by marked changes in direction and magnitude between summer and winter. The predominant wind stress maximum shifts northward coherently from off Point Conception in March to south of Cape Blanco in September, and extends approximately 500 km in the offshore direction and 1000 km in the alongshore direction. Maximum values of surface wind stress occur during July near Cape Mendocino. The wind stress curl is positive near the coast and negative in the region offshore.
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