Global Winds

The Earth has consistent wind patterns when looked at from a global scale. Global winds are created by both the spin of the Earth (Coriolis effect) and the differences in temperature between the equator and the polar areas. These winds are often grouped together as trade winds, easterlies, and westerlies.

  • Trade winds - Trade winds occur near the equator and flow from either the north or south towards the equator. They curve towards the west due to the spin of the Earth.

  • Prevailing westerlies - In the middle latitudes of the Earth, between 35 and 65 degrees latitude, are the prevailing westerly winds. These winds blow from the west to the east and also towards the poles.

  • Polar easterlies - These winds blow close to the north and south poles. They blow away from the poles and curve east to west.