How Do Global Wind Patterns Work?

Winds can change on a weekly or daily basis in specific areas, but generally, the wind around the world follows a specific path and stays relatively steady. There are six wind “cells” or belts, on Earth, three in each hemisphere.

On a global scale, wind belts begin at the equator where solar radiation causes warm air to rise and circulate to the North and South, like a conveyor belt. Seems simple, right?

We wish! What this understanding does not take into account is the way that Earth’s rotation and the distance that wind must travel from the equator to the poles. The long distance that wind travels causes it to break up into the six cells mentioned before. Each cell moves in the opposite direction of the next. Earth’s rotation causes a slight shift in the winds and results in them moving diagonally.

Check out this image to get a better visual understanding of the global wind cells.

To check out the local forecast and plan your next adventure, go to our Weather Page here –