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Term Trade winds
Definition

Refers to winds that blow predominately from the East relatively constantly during the summer and less in winter. They circulate throughout the tropics, from 30-35º degrees latitude to the equatorial trough, (between 5° north - 20° south latitude). They travel from subtropical high pressure areas to low pressure equatorial zones.

Trade winds play a fundamental role in the atmospheric circulation of the Earth. Their main function is to eliminate excess heat from the subtropical high pressure belt by evaporating large amounts of heat from the oceans, which helps to maintain global thermal balance by returning this excess air to the equatorial zone.

Trade winds originate in a high pressure area –the Atlantic anticyclone – stretching from Bermuda to Spain, and move nearly parallel to the African coast before turning west. In the Antilles, they are felt year round from the east, but the prevailing pattern is for them to blow from the northeast in the winter and from the southeast in the summer. In the Dominican Republic, these are the prevailing winds all year. They are mostly felt in mountain systems, where they blow more violently. Trade winds decisively influence the climate, and they are felt mostly in areas that are more exposed to their currents. The opposite occurs in sheltered areas where they do not blow freely. The high temperatures that are registered during the summer in Sánchez, La Vega, Mao, Jimaní, Villa Vásquez, and Pedernales, among others, are caused by the mountain ranges that cut off trade winds.

 

Additional Information
GraphicDireccionalidad de los vientos alisios
Topic  GeologyClimate