We use a high-resolution numerical model to examine the forcing mechanism responsible for Kuroshio intrusion into the South China Sea (SCS). The collective wisdom is that variations in Kuroshio intrusion are closely related to the wind, inside or outside the SCS. A series of experiments was performed to identify the wind-related forcing regulating the intrusion. The experiments demonstrated that the importance of wind inside the SCS is greater than that outside the SCS. Furthermore, the northwestward Ekman drift due to northeasterly wind in winter intensifies the upstream Kuroshio in the Luzon Strait, enhancing the Kuroshio intrusion into the SCS. In particular, the wind stress curl (WSC) off southwest Taiwan is chiefly responsible for the Kuroshio intrusion. Both the WSC and intrusion show both seasonal and intraseasonal variation. As the negative WSC off southwest Taiwan becomes stronger, it contributes to anticyclonic circulation. The enhanced anticyclonic circulation helps the development of the Kuroshio intrusion. The consistency between WSC variability and the intrusion suggests that the WSC off southwest Taiwan is essential to the Kuroshio intrusion variability.
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