posted by mysterychicken on .
48. Discuss the various patterns of prevailing wind in each area of latitude (low, middle, high)
--I posted this yesterday and bobpursley told me I had some wrong information so I fixed up the essay a bit. Is it OK?
The air movements toward the equator are called trade winds- hot, steady breezes that blow almost constantly. The Coriolis Effect makes the trade winds curve to the west, whether they are traveling to the equator from the south or north. The trade winds coming from the south and the north meet near the equator. These converging trade winds produce general upward winds as they are heated, so there are no steady surface winds. This area of calm is called the doldrums.
Between thirty and sixty degrees latitude, the winds that move toward the poles seem to curve to the east. Because winds are named from the direction in which they originate, these winds are called prevailing westerlies. At about sixty degrees latitude in both hemispheres, the prevailing westerlies join with polar easterlies to decrease rising motion. They begin at the poles, the cold air flows South, but the rotation of the Earth (as we see in the Coriolis effect) turns Southern going things to the West. As they turn to the west, a person facing the wind will think it came from the East. That is the origin of the name, folks at high latitudes around say 60N, see the wind from the East, but folks further North, see it from the North. However, not many folks live that far North.