Definition - What does Prevailing Winds mean?
Prevailing Winds are the winds that blow predominately in one direction at a particular point of the earth’s surface. These winds are affected by the global patterns of the current movements of the atmosphere. The prevailing winds are necessary for the continuation of sea breeze and land breeze cycle. The tools that are used to calculate the winds are known as wind roses. The winds mainly occur in deserts and coastal locations. Prior knowledge of the winds can help in the development of strategies against wind erosion.
Petropedia explains Prevailing Winds
The direction of Prevailing Winds can be determined from the direction the wind is coming from. For instance, if it is a northerly wind then it blows from north to south; if it is a southwesterly wind it blows from southeast to northeast. Indian Ocean faces the northeasterly winds whereas southwesterly winds are witnessed in Britain. The directions are dependent on latitudinal wind zones and circulation of the atmosphere. The winds rose uses 9 or 16 cardinal directions yet they are subdivided into 32 directions. Moreover, the winds are one of the reasons of frequent rainfall in desert locations.