Global Wind Patterns
The region of Earth receiving the Sun's direct rays is the equator. Here, air is heated and rises, leaving low pressure areas behind. Moving to about thirty degrees north and south of the equator, the warm air from the equator begins to cool and sink. Between thirty degrees latitude and the equator, most of the cooling sinking air moves back to the equator. The rest of the air flows toward the poles. The air movements toward the equator are called trade winds- warm, steady breezes that blow almost continuously. The Coriolis Effect makes the trade winds appear to be curving to the west, whether they are traveling to the equator from the south or north.
Carefully read the paragraphs above. Draw arrows to represent wind movement, be sure to show how winds change direction at certain latitudes, which are labeled for you. Arrows representing the trade winds have already been drawn. Use orange to color the trade winds, green for the prevailing westerlies, and blue for the polar easterlies. You may need to look back at the results of Blow, Wind, Blow to be able to show the Coriolis effect.
Click here if you would like the answers to these questions.
ESE Kids Only Home | ESE Homepage | NASA
Air | Natural Hazards | Land | Water | People
Hot Links | Games | FAQ | Site Index | Glossary
Updated: January 22, 2003