Roaring Forties

The Roaring Forties is a name given, especially by sailors, to the latitudes between 40°S and 50°S, so called because of the boisterous and prevailing westerly winds. Because there is less landmass to slow them down, the winds are especially strong on the Southern Hemisphere, notably in the South Indian Ocean, which is now incorporated into what is known as the Southern Ocean.

The winds of the Roaring Forties played a significant part in the clipper route. The winds were probably first identified by Dutch sailor Henderik Brouwer in 1610 as a means to rapidly transit across the Indian Ocean en route to Batavia (Dutch East India Company).

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