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In
meteorology Meteorology is a branch of the (which include and ), with a major focus on . The study of meteorology dates back , though significant progress in meteorology did not begin until the 18th century. The 19th century saw modest progress in the f ...
, prevailing wind in a region of the
Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. The remaining 70.8% is Water distribution on Earth, covered wi ...

Earth
's surface is a surface
wind Wind is the natural movement of air or other gases relative to a planet's surface. Wind occurs on a range of scales, from thunderstorm A thunderstorm, also known as an electrical storm or a lightning storm, is a storm characterized by th ...

wind
that blows predominantly from a particular direction. The dominant winds are the trends in direction of wind with the highest speed over a particular point on the Earth's surface. A region's prevailing and dominant winds are the result of global patterns of movement in the
Earth's atmosphere The atmosphere of Earth is the layer of gas Gas is one of the four fundamental states of matter (the others being solid Solid is one of the four fundamental states of matter (the others being liquid, gas and plasma). The mo ...

Earth's atmosphere
. In general, winds are predominantly easterly at low
latitude In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and planets. The first person to use the ...

latitude
s globally. In the mid-latitudes, westerly winds are dominant, and their strength is largely determined by the polar cyclone. In areas where winds tend to be light, the
sea breeze A sea breeze A sea breeze or onshore breeze is any wind that blows from a large body of water toward or onto a landmass; it develops due to differences in air pressure created by the differing heat capacities of water and dry land. As such ...

sea breeze
/land breeze cycle is the most important cause of the prevailing wind; in areas which have variable terrain, mountain and valley breezes dominate the wind pattern. Highly elevated surfaces can induce a
thermal low Thermal lows, or heat lows, are non- frontal low-pressure area 250 px, This low-pressure system over Iceland spins counter-clockwise due to balance between the Coriolis and pressure gradient force. In meteorology Meteorology is a branch of ...
, which then augments the environmental wind flow.
Wind rose A wind rose is a graphic tool used by meteorologists to give a succinct view of how wind Wind is the flow of gases on a large scale. On the surface of the Earth, wind consists of the bulk movement of air. Winds are commonly classified by their ...

Wind rose
s are tools used to display the direction of the prevailing wind. Knowledge of the prevailing wind allows the development of prevention strategies for
wind erosion Wind is the flow of gases on a large scale. On the surface of the Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbor life. About 29% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continent ...

wind erosion
of agricultural land, such as across the
Great Plains The Great Plains (french: Grandes Plaines), sometimes simply "the Plains", is a broad expanse of flatland ''Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions'' is a satire, satirical novella by the English schoolmaster Edwin Abbott Abbott, first publi ...
.
Sand dune A dune is a landform A landform is a natural or artificial feature of the solid surface of the Earth or other planetary body. Landforms together make up a given terrain, and their arrangement in the landscape is known as topography. Land ...

Sand dune
s can orient themselves perpendicular to the prevailing wind direction in coastal and
desert A desert is a barren area of landscape where little precipitation occurs and, consequently, living conditions are hostile for plant and animal life. The lack of vegetation exposes the unprotected surface of the ground to the processes of ...

desert
locations. Insects drift along with the prevailing wind, but the flight of birds is less dependent on it. Prevailing winds in mountain locations can lead to significant
rainfall Rain is liquid water in the form of droplet Rain water flux from a canopy. Among the forces that govern drop formation: cohesion, Van der Waals force">Cohesion_(chemistry).html" ;"title="surface tension, Cohesion (chemistry)">cohesion, ...
gradients, ranging from wet across windward-facing slopes to desert-like conditions along their lee slopes. Prevailing winds can vary due to the uneven heating of the Earth.


Wind rose

A
wind rose A wind rose is a graphic tool used by meteorologists to give a succinct view of how wind Wind is the flow of gases on a large scale. On the surface of the Earth, wind consists of the bulk movement of air. Winds are commonly classified by their ...

wind rose
is a graphic tool used by
meteorologist A meteorologist is a scientist who studies and works in the field of meteorology Meteorology is a branch of the atmospheric sciences Atmospheric science is the study of the Earth's atmosphere File:Atmosphere gas proportions.svg, Composi ...
s to give a succinct view of how
wind speed In meteorology Meteorology is a branch of the (which include and ), with a major focus on . The study of meteorology dates back , though significant progress in meteorology did not begin until the 18th century. The 19th century saw mode ...

wind speed
and direction are typically distributed at a particular location. Presented in a
polar coordinate In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). I ...

polar coordinate
grid, the wind rose shows the frequency of winds blowing from particular directions. The length of each spoke around the circle is related to the proportion of the time that the wind blows from each direction. Each concentric circle represents a different proportion, increasing outwards from zero at the center. A wind rose plot may contain additional information, in that each spoke is broken down into color-coded bands that show wind direction ranges. Wind roses typically show 8 or 16
cardinal direction The four cardinal directions, or cardinal points, are the directions , , , and , commonly denoted by their initials N, E, S, and W. East and west are (at s) to north and south, with east being in the direction of rotation from north and west ...
s, such as north (N), NNE, NE, etc., although they may be subdivided into as many as 32 directions.


Climatology


Trades and their impact

The trade winds (also called trades) are the prevailing pattern of easterly surface winds found in the
tropics The tropics are the region of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. The remaining 70.8% ...

tropics
near the Earth's
equator The Equator is a circle of latitude, about in circumference, that divides Earth into the Northern Hemisphere, Northern and Southern Hemisphere, Southern hemispheres. It is an imaginary line located at 0 degrees latitude, halfway between the N ...

equator
, equatorward of the
subtropical ridge Horse latitudes are the latitudes about 30 degrees north and south of the equator. They are characterized by sunny skies, calm winds, and very little precipitation. They are also known as subtropical ridges, or highs. It is a high-pressure are ...
. These winds blow predominantly from the northeast in the
Northern Hemisphere The Northern Hemisphere is the half of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. The remain ...

Northern Hemisphere
and from the southeast in the
Southern Hemisphere The Southern Hemisphere is the half (hemisphere Hemisphere may refer to: * A half of a sphere As half of the Earth * A hemispheres of Earth, hemisphere of Earth ** Northern Hemisphere ** Southern Hemisphere ** Eastern Hemisphere ** Western He ...

Southern Hemisphere
. The trade winds act as the steering flow for
tropical cyclones A tropical cyclone is a rapidly rotating storm system characterized by a low-pressure center, a closed low-level atmospheric circulation Atmospheric circulation is the large-scale movement of Atmosphere of Earth, air and together with oc ...
that form over world's oceans, guiding their path westward. Trade winds also steer African dust westward across the Atlantic Ocean into the
Caribbean sea The Caribbean Sea ( es, Mar Caribe; french: Mer des Caraïbes; ht, Lamè Karayib; jam, Kiaribiyan Sii; nl, Caraïbische Zee; pap, Laman Karibe) is an Americas, American Mediterranean sea (oceanography), mediterranean sea of the Atlantic Ocean ...
, as well as portions of southeast North America.Science Daily (1999-07-14)
African Dust Called A Major Factor Affecting Southeast U.S. Air Quality.
Retrieved on 2007-06-10.


Westerlies and their impact

The
westerlies The westerlies, anti-trades, or prevailing westerlies, are prevailing winds from the west toward the east in the middle latitudes between 30 and 60 degrees latitude. They originate from the high-pressure areas in the horse latitudes and trend tow ...
or the prevailing westerlies are the prevailing winds in the
middle latitudes The middle latitudes (also called the mid-latitudes, sometimes midlatitudes, or moderate latitudes) are a spatial region on Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29 ...
(i.e. between 35 and 65 degrees
latitude In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and planets. The first person to use the ...

latitude
), which blow in areas poleward of the
high pressure area A high-pressure area, high, or anticyclone, is a region where the atmospheric pressure Atmospheric pressure, also known as barometric pressure (after the barometer A barometer is a scientific instrument that is used to measure air pressure ...
known as the subtropical ridge in the
horse latitudes The horse latitudes are the latitude In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth ...
. These prevailing winds blow from the
west 250px, A compass rose with west highlighted in black West or Occident is one of the four cardinal directions or points of the compass The points of the compass are the vectors by which planet-based directions are conventionally defined. A co ...

west
to the
east
east
, and steer extra-tropical cyclones in this general direction. The winds are predominantly from the southwest in the Northern Hemisphere and from the northwest in the Southern Hemisphere. They are strongest in the winter when the pressure is lower over the poles, such as when the polar cyclone is strongest, and weakest during the summer when the polar cyclone is weakest and when pressures are higher over the poles. Together with the
trade wind The trade winds or easterlies are the permanent east-to-west prevailing winds that flow in the Earth's equatorial region. The trade winds blow mainly from the northeast in the Northern Hemisphere The Northern Hemisphere is the half of Ear ...
s, the westerlies enabled a round-trip trade route for sailing ships crossing the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, as the westerlies lead to the development of strong ocean currents in both hemispheres. The westerlies can be particularly strong, especially in the southern hemisphere, where there is less land in the middle latitudes to cause the flow pattern to amplify, which slows the winds down. The strongest westerly winds in the middle latitudes are called the
Roaring Forties The Roaring Forties are strong westerly winds found in the Southern Hemisphere The Southern Hemisphere is the half (Hemispheres of Earth, hemisphere) of Earth that is south of the Equator. It contains all or parts of five continents (Ant ...
, between 40 and 50 degrees south latitude, within the Southern Hemisphere. The westerlies play an important role in carrying the warm, equatorial waters and winds to the western coasts of continents, especially in the southern hemisphere because of its vast oceanic expanse. The westerlies explain why coastal North America tends to be wet, especially from Northern Washington to Alaska, during the winter. Differential heating from the Sun between the land which is quite cool and the ocean which is relatively warm causes areas of low pressure to develop over land. This results in moisture-rich air flowing east from the Pacific Ocean, causing frequent rainstorms and wind on the coast. This moisture continues to flow eastward until
orographic lift cloud pattern—analogous to a ship wake Image:Kelvin Wake Fr=2.png, 280px, Kelvin wake simulation plot. In fluid dynamics, a wake may either be: * the region of recirculating flow immediately behind a moving or stationary blunt body, caused by ...
caused by the Coast Ranges, and the Cascade, Sierra Nevada, Columbia, and Rocky Mountains causes a
rain shadow A rain shadow is an area of significantly reduced rain Rain is liquid water in the form of drop (liquid), droplets that have condensation, condensed from atmosphere, atmospheric water vapor and then precipitation (meteorology), become he ...

rain shadow
effect which limits further penetration of these systems and associated rainfall eastward. This trend reverses in the summer when strong heating of the land causes high pressure and tends to block moisture-rich air from the Pacific from reaching land. This explains why most of coastal North America in the highest latitude experiences dry summers, despite vast rainfall in the winter.


Polar easterlies

The
polar easterlies In the meteorology, study of Earth's atmosphere, polar easterlies are the dry, cold prevailing winds that blow around the high-Atmospheric pressure, pressure areas of the polar highs at the North Pole, North and South Poles.Glossary of Meteorology ...
(also known as Polar Hadley cells) are the dry, cold prevailing winds that blow from the
high-pressure area A high-pressure area, high, or anticyclone, is a region where the atmospheric pressure Atmospheric pressure, also known as barometric pressure (after the barometer), is the pressure within the atmosphere of Earth File:Atmosphere gas prop ...
s of the
polar high In meteorology Meteorology is a branch of the atmospheric sciences which includes atmospheric chemistry and atmospheric physics, with a major focus on weather forecasting. The study of meteorology dates back millennia, though significant progr ...
s at the
North North is one of the four compass points The points of the compass are the vectors by which planet A planet is an astronomical body orbiting a star or Stellar evolution#Stellar remnants, stellar remnant that is massive enough to be Hydro ...
and
South Pole The South Pole, also known as the Geographic South Pole, Terrestrial South Pole or 90th Parallel South, is one of the where intersects its surface. It is the southernmost point on Earth and lies on the of Earth from the . Situated on the ...
s towards the low-pressure areas within the westerlies at high latitudes. Like trade winds and unlike the westerlies, these prevailing winds blow from the to the
west 250px, A compass rose with west highlighted in black West or Occident is one of the four cardinal directions or points of the compass The points of the compass are the vectors by which planet-based directions are conventionally defined. A co ...

west
, and are often weak and irregular. Due to the low
sun The Sun is the star A star is an astronomical object consisting of a luminous spheroid of plasma (physics), plasma held together by its own gravity. The List of nearest stars and brown dwarfs, nearest star to Earth is the Sun. Many othe ...

sun
angle,
cold , a common physiological response to cold, aiming to reduce the loss of body heat in a cold environment File:AntarcticaDomeCSnow.jpg, A photograph of the snow surface at Dome C Station, Antarctica a part of the notoriously cold Polar Platea ...

cold
air builds up and subsides at the pole creating surface high-pressure areas, forcing an outflow of air toward the
equator The Equator is a circle of latitude, about in circumference, that divides Earth into the Northern Hemisphere, Northern and Southern Hemisphere, Southern hemispheres. It is an imaginary line located at 0 degrees latitude, halfway between the N ...

equator
; that outflow is deflected westward by the
Coriolis effect In physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), physikḗ (epistḗmē), knowledge of nature, from ''phýsis'' 'nature'), , is the natural science that studies matter, its Motion (physics), motion and behavior throug ...

Coriolis effect
.


Local considerations


Sea and land breezes

In areas where the wind flow is light, sea breezes and land breezes are important factors in a location's prevailing winds. The
sea The sea, connected as the world ocean or simply the ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of salt water which covers approximately 71% of the surface of the Earth.
sea
is warmed by the sun to a greater depth than the land due to its greater
specific heat In thermodynamics Thermodynamics is a branch of physics that deals with heat, Work (thermodynamics), work, and temperature, and their relation to energy, entropy, and the physical properties of matter and radiation. The behavior of these quant ...
. The sea therefore has a greater capacity for absorbing heat than the land, so the surface of the sea warms up more slowly than the land's surface. As the temperature of the surface of the
land Land is the solid surface of Earth that is not permanently submerged in water. Most but not all land is situated at elevations above sea level (variable over geologic time frames) and consists mainly of Earth's crust, crustal components such a ...

land
rises, the land heats the air above it. The warm air is less dense and so it rises. This rising air over the land lowers the
sea level pressure Atmospheric pressure, also known as barometric pressure (after the barometer), is the pressure Pressure (symbol: ''p'' or ''P'') is the force In physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), physikḗ (epist ...
by about 0.2%. The cooler air above the sea, now with higher sea level pressure, flows towards the land into the lower pressure, creating a cooler breeze near the coast. The strength of the sea breeze is directly proportional to the temperature difference between the land mass and the sea. If an off-shore wind of exists, the sea breeze is not likely to develop. At night, the land cools off more quickly than the ocean due to differences in their
specific heat In thermodynamics Thermodynamics is a branch of physics that deals with heat, Work (thermodynamics), work, and temperature, and their relation to energy, entropy, and the physical properties of matter and radiation. The behavior of these quant ...
values, which forces the daytime sea breeze to dissipate. If the temperature onshore cools below the temperature offshore, the pressure over the water will be lower than that of the land, establishing a land breeze, as long as an onshore wind is not strong enough to oppose it.JetStream: An Online School For Weather (2008)
The Sea Breeze.
National Weather Service The National Weather Service (NWS) is an agency Agency may refer to: * a governmental or other institution Institutions, according to Samuel P. Huntington, are "stable, valued, recurring patterns of behavior". Institutions can refer to m ...
. Retrieved on 2006-10-24.


Circulation in elevated regions

Over elevated surfaces, heating of the ground exceeds the heating of the surrounding air at the same altitude above sea level, creating an associated
thermal low Thermal lows, or heat lows, are non- frontal low-pressure area 250 px, This low-pressure system over Iceland spins counter-clockwise due to balance between the Coriolis and pressure gradient force. In meteorology Meteorology is a branch of ...
over the terrain and enhancing any lows which would have otherwise existed, and changing the wind circulation of the region. In areas where there is rugged
topography Topography is the study of the forms and features of land surface Relief map of Sierra Nevada, Spain Terrain or relief (also topographical Topography is the study of the forms and features of land surfaces. The topography of an ...
that significantly interrupts the environmental wind flow, the wind can change direction and accelerate parallel to the wind obstruction. This barrier jet can increase the low level wind by 45%. In mountainous areas, local distortion of the airflow is more severe. Jagged terrain combines to produce unpredictable flow patterns and turbulence, such as
rotor ROTOR was an elaborate air defence radar Radar is a detection system that uses radio waves to determine the range, angle, or velocity of objects. It can be used to detect aircraft An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to flight, fly ...
s. Strong
updraft In meteorology Meteorology is a branch of the atmospheric sciences Atmospheric science is the study of the Earth's atmosphere File:Atmosphere gas proportions.svg, Composition of Earth's atmosphere by volume, excluding water vapor. Lowe ...
s, downdrafts and
eddies In fluid dynamics, an eddy is the swirling of a fluid and the reverse current (water), current created when the fluid is in a turbulent flow regime. The moving fluid creates a space devoid of downstream-flowing fluid on the downstream side of the o ...
develop as the air flows over hills and down valleys. Wind direction changes due to the contour of the land. If there is a
pass Pass, PASS, The Pass or Passed may refer to: Places *Pass, County Meath, a townland in Ireland *Pass, Poland, a village in Poland *Pass (strait), Pass, an alternate term for a number of straits: see List of straits *Mountain pass, a lower place ...

pass
in the mountain range, winds will rush through the pass with considerable speed due to the
Bernoulli principle Video of a venturi meter used in a lab experiment In fluid dynamics In physics and engineering, fluid dynamics is a subdiscipline of fluid mechanics that describes the flow of fluids—liquids and gases. It has several subdisciplines, inc ...
that describes an inverse relationship between speed and pressure. The airflow can remain turbulent and erratic for some distance downwind into the flatter countryside. These conditions are dangerous to ascending and descending airplanes. Daytime heating and nighttime cooling of the hilly slopes lead to day to night variations in the airflow, similar to the relationship between sea breeze and land breeze. At night, the sides of the hills cool through radiation of the heat. The air along the hills becomes cooler and denser, blowing down into the valley, drawn by gravity. This is known a mountain breeze. If the slopes are covered with ice and snow, the mountain breeze will blow during the day, carrying the cold dense air into the warmer, barren valleys. The slopes of hills not covered by snow will be warmed during the day. The air that comes in contact with the warmed slopes becomes warmer and less dense and flows uphill. This is known as an anabatic wind or valley breeze.


Effect on precipitation

Orographic precipitation occurs on the
windward 400px, Example image showing definitions of windward (upwind) and leeward (downwind) Windward () is the direction upwind from the point of reference, alternatively the direction from which the wind is coming. Leeward () is the direction downwin ...
side of mountains and is caused by the rising air motion of a large-scale flow of moist air across the mountain ridge, resulting in adiabatic cooling and
condensation Condensation is the change of the state of matter In physics, a state of matter is one of the distinct forms in which matter can exist. Four states of matter are observable in everyday life: solid, liquid, gas, and Plasma (physics), plasma. ...

condensation
. In mountainous parts of the world subjected to consistent winds (for example, the
trade wind The trade winds or easterlies are the permanent east-to-west prevailing winds that flow in the Earth's equatorial region. The trade winds blow mainly from the northeast in the Northern Hemisphere The Northern Hemisphere is the half of Ear ...
s), a more moist
climate Climate is the long-term pattern of weather Weather is the state of the atmosphere An atmosphere (from the greek words ἀτμός ''(atmos)'', meaning 'vapour', and σφαῖρα ''(sphaira)'', meaning 'ball' or 'sphere') is a la ...

climate
usually prevails on the windward side of a mountain than on the
leeward 400px, Example image showing definitions of windward (upwind) and leeward (downwind) Windward () is the direction ''upwind'' from the point of reference, i.e. towards the direction from which the wind is coming. Leeward () is the direction ''dow ...
or downwind side. Moisture is removed by orographic lift, leaving drier air (see
foehn wind A föhn, also spelled foehn (, ), is a type of dry, warm, down-slope wind that occurs in the lee (downwind side) of a mountain range. It is a rain shadow A rain shadow is a dry area on the leeward side of a mountainous area (away from the win ...
) on the descending and generally warming, leeward side where a
rain shadow A rain shadow is an area of significantly reduced rain Rain is liquid water in the form of drop (liquid), droplets that have condensation, condensed from atmosphere, atmospheric water vapor and then precipitation (meteorology), become he ...

rain shadow
is observed.Dr. Michael Pidwirny (2008)
CHAPTER 8: Introduction to the Hydrosphere (e). Cloud Formation Processes.
Physical Geography. Retrieved on 2009-01-01.
In South America, the
Andes The Andes, Andes Mountains or Andean Mountains ( es, Cordillera de los Andes) are the List of mountain ranges#Mountain ranges by length, longest continental mountain range in the world, forming a continuous highland along the western edge of Sou ...

Andes
mountain range blocks
Pacific The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. ...

Pacific
moisture that arrives in that continent, resulting in a desertlike climate just downwind across western Argentina. The
Sierra Nevada The Sierra Nevada () is a mountain range A mountain range is a series of mountains ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or mountain belt is a group of mountain ranges with similarity in form, structure, and align ...
range creates the same effect in North America forming the
Great Basin The Great Basin is the largest area of contiguous endorheic watersheds in North America North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere. It can also be described as the ...
and
Mojave Desert The Mojave Desert ( ; mov, Hayikwiir Mat'aar) is a xeric Deserts and xeric shrublands are a biome A biome is a collection of plants Plants are mainly multicellular organisms, predominantly photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a ...

Mojave Desert
s.


Effect on nature

Insects are swept along by the prevailing winds, while birds follow their own course. As such, fine line patterns within
weather radar Weather radar, also called weather surveillance radar (WSR) and Doppler weather radar, is a type of radar Radar (radio detection and ranging) is a detection system that uses radio waves to determine the distance (''ranging''), angle, or v ...

weather radar
imagery, associated with converging winds, are dominated by insect returns. In the
Great Plains The Great Plains (french: Grandes Plaines), sometimes simply "the Plains", is a broad expanse of flatland ''Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions'' is a satire, satirical novella by the English schoolmaster Edwin Abbott Abbott, first publi ...
,
wind erosion Wind is the flow of gases on a large scale. On the surface of the Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbor life. About 29% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continent ...

wind erosion
of agricultural land is a significant problem, and is mainly driven by the prevailing wind. Because of this, wind barrier strips have been developed to minimize this type of erosion. The strips can be in the form of soil ridges, crop strips, crops rows, or trees which act as wind breaks. They are oriented perpendicular to the wind in order to be most effective. In regions with minimal vegetation, such as coastal and
desert A desert is a barren area of landscape where little precipitation occurs and, consequently, living conditions are hostile for plant and animal life. The lack of vegetation exposes the unprotected surface of the ground to the processes of ...

desert
areas, transverse
sand dune A dune is a landform A landform is a natural or artificial feature of the solid surface of the Earth or other planetary body. Landforms together make up a given terrain, and their arrangement in the landscape is known as topography. Land ...

sand dune
s orient themselves perpendicular to the prevailing wind direction, while longitudinal dunes orient themselves parallel to the prevailing winds.Ronald Greeley, James D. Iversen (1987)
Wind as a geological process on Earth, Mars, Venus and Titan.
CUP Archive, pp. 158–162. . Retrieved on 2009-04-26.


See also

*
Trade winds The trade winds or easterlies are the permanent east-to-west prevailing winds that flow in the Earth's equatorial region. The trade winds blow mainly from the northeast in the Northern Hemisphere The Northern Hemisphere is the half of E ...
*
Wind speed In meteorology Meteorology is a branch of the (which include and ), with a major focus on . The study of meteorology dates back , though significant progress in meteorology did not begin until the 18th century. The 19th century saw mode ...

Wind speed
*
Atmospheric circulation Atmospheric circulation is the large-scale movement of Atmosphere of Earth, air and together with ocean circulation is the means by which thermal energy is redistributed on the surface of the Earth. The Earth's atmospheric circulation varies from ...

Atmospheric circulation
*
Winds in the age of sail The captain of a steam ship naturally chooses the shortest route to a destination. Since a sailing ship is usually pushed by winds and currents, its captain must find a route where the wind will probably blow in the right direction. Tacking, i.e. u ...


References

{{good article Wind Articles containing video clips