Local and Global Winds By: Ian Rothauser

General Information About Winds

Winds are created by the unequal heating of the Earth's surface. Wind travels from an area of high pressure and low pressure. The two types of winds are global winds and local winds.

Local Winds

Local winds are a type of wind that move over small areas, hence the name, "local winds." Unlike global winds, local winds change direction and speed often. Local winds blow in the troposphere so everyone can feel them. The two types of local winds are sea breezes and land breezes. Sea breezes form during the day. They blow from the ocean to the land. During the sea breeze, the air over the land is hotter so it rises. The air over the ocean is cooler, so it sinks and blows towards the land. The air over the land rises and blows back toward the sea. Land breezes are the opposite. They blow during the night and blow from the land towards the sea. The air over the land is cooler, so it sinks and blows towards the sea. The air over the sea is hotter, so it rises and blows the wind back to the land.
Local Wind

Global Winds

Global winds are winds that travel over the whole planet. Most of the time, they blow at the same speed and in the same direction. Some of the types of global winds blow high in the atmosphere, so you can only feel some global winds. There are six types of global winds. Polar easterlies, trade winds, horse latitudes, the doldrums, prevailing westerlies, and jet streams. Doldrums are the winds at they equator, which are very calm. Horse latitudes are the winds at 30 degrees north and south latitude, and are also calm. Trade winds lie in the middle of 0 degrees and 30 degrees latitude and are strong. They are called trade winds because sailors used to use them to move cargo to other countries for trading. The jet stream is a group of strong winds in the upper part of the troposphere. Airplanes use these to travel fast without using too much fuel. Prevailing westerlies are winds that lie between 30 degrees and 60 degrees north and south latitude that blow from the west. Finally, the polar easterlies are winds that blow from the north and the south pole.
Global Wind Belts