The Gulf Stream is an intense, warm ocean current in the western North Atlantic Ocean. It moves north along the coast of Florida and then turns eastward off of North Carolina, flowing northeast across the Atlantic.
The velocity of the Gulf Stream current is fastest near the surface, with the maximum speed typically about nine kilometers per hour (5.6 miles per hour). The average speed of the Gulf Stream, however, is four miles per hour (6.4 kilometers per hour). The current slows to a speed of about 1.6 kilometers per hour (one mile per hour) as it widens to the north. The Gulf Stream transports an amount of water greater than that carried by all of the world's rivers combined.