Trade winds


There are atmospheric phenomena or events that originate with the rotational and translational mobility of the orb. Likewise, the sun’s radiation generates discrepancies in the atmosphere’s climate, intervening in the pressure contrasts and the “displacement” of the. There are different kinds of currents, and among them the trade winds stand out .


What are the trade winds?

The trade winds are permanent systems, in direction and speed. They run north-east in the northern hemisphere, and south-east in the southern hemisphere. They form current fluids in the atmosphere by attributions of the environment, causing aeration in the tropics. They begin in high-pressure tropical territories , bound for low-tension equatorial surfaces.

  • Characteristics of the trade winds
  • Source
  • Training
  • At what latitudes do the trade winds form?
  • Address
  • Influence on aviation
  • Influence on navigation
  • Relationship with the haze
  • How it differs from the Contralisian winds
  • Importance

Characteristics of the trade winds

These winds have certain characteristics, among which the following stand out:

  • They circulate through the tropics .
  • They emerge from high-pressure sub-tropical surfaces, bound for low-pressure equatorial terrains.
  • They go west .
  • They are produced from 30º – 35º latitude towards the equator .
  • The airs ventilate in summer, stronger than in winter.


The wind is born from the energy of the Sun as a source of heat . The agitation of the air is essentially due to a specific property of gases: the hot wind rises and the cold wind falls. This is the basic principle that “governs” the generation and hustle and bustle of the air. The great variety of materials and processes that cause the overheating and cooling of the breezes, at different scales and heights, is part of the scientific field known as meteorology.

The line at the equator is the hottest region in the world , it is an area of ​​low pressure. The warmer air rises to reach the troposphere , where it cannot continue, and the degrees begin to decrease in a progressive way, as it moves in the direction of the poles. When this agglomeration of air is located at 30 ° north latitude, it cools, causing the breezes to drop in the direction of a certain area of ​​the world.

A portion of this wind is heated again and rises to continue its destination to the poles. The other part is moving away again in a segment of the earth, in the direction of the low pressure of the equator. This mobility begins at 30 ° latitude, in the direction of the equator, and forms what is called the trade winds . A cell of circulation enclosed by current, which goes from 0 ° and 30 °, in the northern latitudes, as in the southern latitudes, is called a Hadley cell.


They are ordinary formations of currents , which start from the north-east to the south-west , for the northern hemisphere , and from the south-east to the north-west for the southern hemisphere . The point of coincidence of both currents is called the inter-tropical coincidence zone and is located near the equator. There a strong increase of warm wind occurs , causing areas of small pressures that are filled with another concentration of current, generating the trade winds.

Hot wind concentrations that rise, gradually lower their temperature, and are driven in the reverse direction to the trade winds. Their direction is the sub-tropical latitudes, from where they depart. Trade winds are a portion of the Hadley circulation, which moves elevated temperatures from equatorial to subtropical surfaces . They replace the hot wind with cooler currents, and the rotation of the world causes it to drift west.

At what latitudes do the trade winds form?

The latitudes in which the trade winds are formed start in the tropics , from 30º to 35º towards the equator. They will start in the high sub-tropical airs, until they reach the light equatorial currents. They invariably vent in summer and less permanently in winter.


They are routed from the high sub-tropical currents to the light equatorial currents. The mobility of the planet’s rotation diverts the trade winds to the west. Thanks to this they blow from the north-east to the south-west in the northern hemisphere and from the south-east to the north-west in the southern hemisphere. The periods in which the trade winds blow with less force establish a risk, mainly for ships.

Influence on aviation

The height at which airplanes normally fly is 10 to 12 kilometers. Exactly at that level the trade winds are located. They create a current of wind that the planes take advantage of to be pushed . This way they carry out the trips in a shorter time and with less fuel consumption . Any airplane that transits from west to east uses this phenomenon to reduce travel time. The reverse happens when airplanes go facing these currents

Influence on navigation

These airs were important in ancient times for the ships that left the old continent to America . If the winds did not aerate with power, some boats could not move. In the moments when the trade winds lacked strength, it implied difficult moments for this type of trip, which yearned to reach American territory. These currents are so powerful that the sailing ships of European explorers could sail only with it , but not against it. The trade winds aerate without interruptions.

Between the trade winds of both hemispheres, continuing along the equator, the land of calm is located for the sailors, it is the Inter-tropical Coincidence Ground or ITCZ, popular as the doldrums. The position of the ITCZ ​​usually varies, but generally remains a little further north of the equator, mainly in summer. It is an extension of light current that causes wide ascents of air.

It is an area feared by sailors both for its calm and for the increase in intermittent showers of stormy downpours. The width of the calm is variable between 200 and 300 kilometers. There is also another calm zone, less defined than the equatorial ones, located throughout the tropics, around 30 ° in both hemispheres. They are the tropical calm. The wind is essential for deep-sea navigation and allows sailing across the Atlantic and Pacific.

Relationship with the haze

Strong trade winds in summer favor the transfer of dust emissions or haze in the central area of ​​the Sahara. Also its export to the Atlantic, giving rise to flows of dust and heat in a region that goes from the Canary Islands to the Caribbean. A study carried out by scientific researchers has confirmed the diversity in the momentum of the calimas, registered over the Atlantic. This fact has been closely related to the momentum in which the trade winds aerate over the central and western region of Algeria.

How it differs from the Contralisian winds

Unlike the trade winds, the contralysian airs are on track until the polar circles , circumpolar airs. They move from the poles of the Earth, to the polar circles. The contralysian winds are currents of the temperate lands that go from the poles, by the high of the atmosphere , deviating towards the East and that come from the tropical surfaces. The contralisios go in the opposite direction to the trade winds, to which they owe their name contralisios.


The importance of the trade winds resides in that they carry the hot wind from the equatorial surface to the sub-tropical surfaces, and bring from the same temperate current. This creates what is recognized by the Hadley circulation, a kind of thermal system for cooling the hottest areas and reheating the colder areas. This regulating function of the climate of the air masses, favors the periods of low and high pressure. It discharges rain and allows climatic processes typical of the inter-tropical zone, such as tornadoes.

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