Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963893 | Print ISBN: 9781412958783 | Online ISBN: 9781412963893| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
THE TRADE WINDS are a large-scale component of Earth circulation, occupying most of the tropics straddling the equator between approximately latitude 30 degrees N and latitude 30 degrees S, with a seasonal shift of the entire trade wind belt system about 5 degrees of latitude northward during summer (July) and southward during winter (December). In the Northern Hemisphere, warm equatorial air rises and flows north toward the pole, the Coriolis Effect (caused by the Earths rotation) deflects the current, and as the air cools, it descends, blowing southwestward from the northeast. In the Southern Hemisphere, warm equatorial air rises and flows south toward the pole, the Coriolis effect deflects the current, and as the air cools, it descends, blowing northwestward from the southeast. The rising air is associated with deep atmospheric convection, heavy precipitation, and weak wind speeds, with an influence on global weather patterns Air heated by the sun ...