Global Wind Patterns
wind belts of the general circulation

The global wind pattern is also known as the "general circulation" and the surface winds of each hemisphere are divided into three wind belts:

  • Polar Easterlies: From 60-90 degrees latitude.
  • Prevailing Westerlies: From 30-60 degrees latitude (aka Westerlies).
  • Tropical Easterlies: From 0-30 degrees latitude (aka Trade Winds).

The easterly trade winds of both hemispheres converge at an area near the equator called the "Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ)", producing a narrow band of clouds and thunderstorms that encircle portions of the globe.

Terms for using data resources. CD-ROM available.
Credits and Acknowledgments for WW2010.
Department of Atmospheric Sciences (DAS) at
the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.