Updated: Jan 30, 2020
The Trade Winds
The trade winds or easterlies are the permanent east-to-west prevailing winds that flow in the Earth's equatorial region (between 30°N and 30°S latitudes). The trade winds blow predominantly from the northeast in the Northern Hemisphere and from the southeast in the Southern Hemisphere, strengthening during the winter and when the Arctic oscillation is in its warm phase.
Trade winds have been used by captains of sailing ships to cross the world's oceans for centuries and enabled colonial expansion into the Americas and trade routes to become established across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and it os also used by windsurfers and kitesurfer.
In meteorology, the trade winds act as the steering flow for tropical storms that form over the Atlantic, Pacific, and southern Indian Oceans and make landfall in North America, Southeast Asia, and Madagascar and eastern Africa. Trade winds also transport African dust westward across the Atlantic Ocean into the Caribbean Sea, as well as portions of southeastern North America. Shallow cumulus clouds are seen within trade wind regimes and are capped from becoming taller by a trade wind inversion, which is caused by descending air aloft from within the subtropical ridge. The weaker the trade winds become, the more rainfall can be expected in the neighboring landmasses.
The Trade winds also bring Sahara desert sands all the way to the Amazon in South America!