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Encyclopedia > Trade wind
Image:Atmospheric circulatlion.svg
The trade winds are part of the earth's atmospheric circulation

The trade winds are a pattern of wind that are found in bands around the Earth's equatorial region. The trade winds are the prevailing winds in the tropics, blowing from the high-pressure area in the horse latitudes towards the low-pressure area around the equator. The trade winds blow predominantly from the northeast in the northern hemisphere and from the southeast in the southern hemisphere. For other uses, see Wind (disambiguation). ... World map showing the equator in red In tourist areas, the equator is often marked on the sides of roads The equator marked as it crosses Ilhéu das Rolas, in São Tomé and Príncipe. ... The prevailing winds are the trends in speed and direction of wind over a particular point on the earths surface. ... A noontime scene from the Philippines on a day when the Sun is almost directly overhead. ... Horse latitudes or Subtropical High are subtropical latitudes between 30 and 35 degrees both north and south, characterized by light winds and hot, dry weather, caused by descending air. ... World map showing the equator in red In tourist areas, the equator is often marked on the sides of roads The equator marked as it crosses Ilhéu das Rolas, in São Tomé and Príncipe. ... Northern hemisphere highlighted in yellow. ... southern hemisphere highlighted in yellow (Antarctica not depicted). ...


Their name derives from the Middle English 'trade', meaning "path" or "track," and thus the phrase "the wind blows trade," that is to say, on track. In German they are known as Passat winds.


In the zone between about 30° North and 30° South, the surface air flows toward the equator and the flow aloft is poleward. A low-pressure area of calm, light variable winds near the equator is known to mariners as the doldrums. Around 30° N. and S., the poleward flowing air begins to descend toward the surface in subtropical high-pressure belts. The sinking air is relatively dry because its moisture has already been released near the Equator above the tropical rain forests. Near the center of this high-pressure zone of descending air, called the "Horse Latitudes," the winds at the surface are weak and variable. The name for this area is believed to have been given by colonial sailors, who, becalmed sometimes at these latitudes while crossing the oceans with horses as cargo, were forced to throw some overboard to conserve water. For other uses of the word pole, see Pole (disambiguation). ... A large low-pressure system swirls off the southwestern coast of Iceland, illustrating the maxim that nature abhors a vacuum. ... The doldrums is the low-pressure area around the equator where the prevailing winds are calm. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Anticyclone. ... Horse latitudes or Subtropical High are subtropical latitudes between 30 and 35 degrees both north and south, characterized by light winds and hot, dry weather, caused by descending air. ...


The surface air that flows from these subtropical high-pressure belts toward the Equator is deflected toward the west in both hemispheres by the Coriolis effect. Because winds are named for the direction from which the wind is blowing, these winds are called the northeast trade winds in the Northern Hemisphere and the southeast trade winds in the Southern Hemisphere. The trade winds meet at the doldrums. Surface winds known as "westerlies" flow from the Horse Latitudes toward the poles. The "westerlies" meet "easterlies" from the polar highs at about 50-60° N. and S. In the inertial frame of reference (upper part of the picture), the black object moves in a straight line. ... The Westerlies are the prevailing winds in the middle latitudes between 30 and 60 degrees latitude, blowing from the high pressure area in the horse latitudes towards the poles. ...


Among the most well known trade winds is the alizé (sometimes alize), a steady, mild northeasterly wind which blows across central Africa and the Caribbean. It brings cool temperatures between November and February. A world map showing the continent of Africa Africa is the worlds second-largest and second most-populous continent, after Asia. ... “West Indian” redirects here. ...


A tradewind is a wind that goes across the sea and in the olden days it used to carry trade ships across the world.


 
 

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