The Westerlies or the Prevailing 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. These prevailing winds blow from the west to the east. 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 sailing ships. Vessels returning to Europe from South and Central America, the West Indies, or the Southern Atlantic Seaboard of South America generally sailed North, turning Eastward at the Western Virginias to cross the Atlantic.

The westerlies 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 Westerlies play an important role in carrying the warm, equatorial waters and winds to the western coasts of continents, especially in the southern hemisphere because of its vast oceanic expanse.

In the Southern hemisphere, because of the stormy and cloudy conditions, it's usual to refer to the Westerlies as the Roaring Forties, Furious Fifties and Shrieking Sixties according to the varying degrees of latitude.

ee also

*Polar Easterlies
*West wind

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужно решить контрольную?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • WESTERLIES — L’expression anglaise westerlies désigne des vents d’ouest et, pour l’essentiel, le flux des zones tempérées. Aux latitudes moyennes, ce sont en effet les vents de secteur ouest qui dominent. Dans l’hémisphère boréal, qui est de loin le plus… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • westerlies — prevailing winds in certain latitudes, 1876, from westerly (see WEST (Cf. west)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • westerlies — n. general term for storms or winds blowing from the west to the east west·er·ly || westÉ™(r)lɪ n. wind that is toward or from the west adj. moving or facing westward; situated in the west; coming from the west adv. toward the west …   English contemporary dictionary

  • westerlies — the belt of prevailing westerly winds in medium latitudes in the southern hemisphere. → westerly …   English new terms dictionary

  • prevailing westerlies — noun plural : the average or normal westerly winds of the middle latitudes * * * prevailing westerlies, the usual westerly winds that blow between 30 degrees and 60 degrees latitude, both north and south of the equator …   Useful english dictionary

  • Весты — (westerlies)Westerlies, ветры, дующие в зап. направлении, преимущественно в средних широтах. В Северном полушарии они более изменчивы по силе и направлению, чем в Южном полушарии. (См. Ревущие сороковые) …   Страны мира. Словарь

  • Wind — For other uses, see Wind (disambiguation). Wind, from the …   Wikipedia

  • climate — /kluy mit/, n. 1. the composite or generally prevailing weather conditions of a region, as temperature, air pressure, humidity, precipitation, sunshine, cloudiness, and winds, throughout the year, averaged over a series of years. 2. a region or… …   Universalium

  • 1962 Pacific typhoon season — Infobox hurricane season Basin=WPac Year=1962 Track=1962 Pacific typhoon season summary.jpg First storm formed=February 2, 1962 Last storm dissipated=December 10, 1962 Strongest storm name=Super Typhoon Karen Strongest storm pressure=897 Total… …   Wikipedia

  • Atlantic Ocean — an ocean bounded by North America and South America in the Western Hemisphere and by Europe and Africa in the Eastern Hemisphere. ab. 31,530,000 sq. mi. (81,663,000 sq. km); with connecting seas ab. 41,000,000 sq. mi. (106,100,000 sq. km);… …   Universalium

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”