Earth's weather patterns


. Trade winds blow from east to west along the Earth's equatorial regions, in the same direction that the planet rotates. At higher latitudes, there are high-altitude jet streams that move at speeds of up to 40 meters per second in the opposite direction to the trade winds. In the northern hemisphere there are high-pressure cyclones, denoted by H, and low pressure anti-cyclones, L, rotating in the clockwise and counter-clockwise directions, respectively; in the southern hemisphere the cyclones and anti-cyclones rotate in the opposite direction. The prevailing winds are given in Annie Dillard's poem, "the windy planet".

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University