Global Wind Patterns

Global Wind Patterns

Wind is mainly the outcome of a thermodynamic principle and the Coriolis effect due to the counterclockwise rotation of the earth. Warm air around the equator is lifted, which creates a suction effect for air masses coming from higher (or lower) latitudes. The high-altitude air mass moves either north or south until its temperature is low enough for them to “sink” and start to converge towards the equator. As these air masses move, the Coriolis effect shifts their direction. The outcome is a system of circulation known as a “cell”; three of which are between the equator and the North Pole and three others towards the South Pole. The most significant is the Hadley Cell, from which the “Trade Winds” are the outcome.