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The annual cycles of wind and precipitation are the primary forcing functions to the coastal GOA. On the left, in blue, is depicted the Upwelling Index computed by PFEL. This shows the amount of Ekman induced upwelling and downwelling in response to alongshore winds near Seward Alaska. It shows a large downwelling mean for non-summer months and slight upwelling for the summer months. With a very different phasing cycle, Tom Royer's estimate of FWD to the coastal region indicates very low runoff in the early part of the year, when much precipitation is in the form of snowfall, increasing through the summer with snowmelt and into the rainy season of fall. These two processes of wind and fresh water discharge lead the primary structure of the Alaska Coastal Current.

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