Global winds are produced by the uneven heating of the earth. Let’s take a look at these major global winds. The westerlies, polar easterlies, trade winds, doldrums, and the horse latitudes.

The westerlies are prevailing winds that blow from west to east between 30 and 60 degrees latitude in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. They are caused by the Coriolis effect, which is a deflection of moving objects in a rotating frame of reference. The Coriolis effect is caused by the Earth’s rotation, and it deflects winds to the right in the Northern Hemisphere and to the left in the Southern Hemisphere.

The westerlies are important because they transport heat and moisture around the globe. They help to regulate the Earth’s climate by moving warm air from the tropics to the poles and cold air from the poles to the tropics. The westerlies also help to create storms, such as cyclones and anticyclones.

global winds
trade winds

The trade winds are global wind patterns that flow from east to west between the tropics. They are caused by the Earth’s rotation and the uneven heating of the planet’s surface by the sun.

The trade winds blow from the subtropical high-pressure zones, which are located at around 30 degrees north and south latitude, toward the equatorial low-pressure zone.

The polar easterlies are prevailing easterly winds found in the high-latitude regions of both hemispheres. They blow from the high-pressure areas of the polar highs at the North and South Poles towards the low-pressure areas within the westerlies at high latitudes.

 

doldrums

The doldrums are a region of the ocean near the equator that is characterized by light winds and weak currents. The doldrums are typically found between 5 and 15 degrees north and south of the equator. The doldrums are also located in a region of high atmospheric pressure, which inhibits wind and current activity.

They are also known as the “horse latitudes” because they were once a major obstacle for sailing ships.

The global winds are influenced by a combination of factors, including the Earth’s rotation, the uneven heating of the Earth’s surface, and the Coriolis effect. The major global winds include the westerlies, polar easterlies, trade winds, doldrums, and horse latitudes.

Westerlies:

  • Found in the mid-latitudes between 30 and 60 degrees latitude in both hemispheres.
  • Blow from west to east.
  • Prevailing winds in the temperate zones.
  • Responsible for the majority of weather patterns in these regions.

Polar Easterlies:

  • Found in the polar regions between 60 and 90 degrees latitude in both hemispheres.
  • Blow from east to west.
  • Cold and dry winds.
  • Associated with the polar high-pressure zones.

Trade Winds:

  • Found in the tropics between 30 degrees latitude in both hemispheres.
  • Blow from east to west.
  • Warm and moist winds.
  • Responsible for the formation of tropical cyclones.

Doldrums:

  • Found near the equator between 5 degrees north and south latitude.
  • Characterized by light winds and high humidity.
  • Also known as the equatorial convergence zone.

Horse Latitudes:

  • Found between 30 and 35 degrees latitude in both hemispheres.
  • Characterized by light winds and clear skies.
  • Associated with the subtropical high-pressure zones.