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Encyclopedia > Westerlies

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. The winds are predominantly from the southwest in the Northern Hemisphere and from the northwest in the Southern Hemisphere. Together with the trade winds, the westerlies enabled a round-trip trade route for early European ships. The prevailing winds are the trends in speed and direction of wind over a particular point on the earths surface. ... The middle latitudes are the areas between 30 and 60 degrees north latitude and 30 and 60 degrees south, or, roughly, the earths temperate zones between the tropics and the Arctic and Antarctic. ... Latitude, usually denoted symbolically by the Greek letter phi, , gives the location of a place on Earth north or south of the equator. ... 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. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... The Northern Hemisphere is the half of a planets surface (or celestial sphere) that is north of the equator (the word hemisphere literally means half ball). On the Earth, the Northern Hemisphere contains most of the land and about 88-90% of the human population. ... southern hemisphere highlighted in yellow (Antarctica not depicted). ... The trade winds are a pattern of wind that are found in bands around the Earths equatorial region. ...


The po can be particularly strong , especially in the southern hemisphere, where there is less land in the middle latitudes to cause friction and slow the winds down. The strongest westerly winds in the middle latitudes can come in the Roaring Forties, between 40 and 50 degrees latitude. The Roaring Forties is a name given, especially by sailors, to the latitudes between 40° and 50°, so called because of the boisterous and prevailing westerly winds. ...


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