Where are low, mid and high latitudes?


Quick Answer

According to SpaceWeatherLive, when working with aurora forecasts, there are no exact boundaries between latitude categories. Commonly, 60 degrees magnetic latitude and above is considered high latitude; between 50 and 60 degrees magnetic latitude is considered mid latitude; and everything below 50 degrees magnetic latitude is considered low latitude. According to World Maps Online, when working with geographical latitude, the 90 degrees total of latitude are divided into even thirds.

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Full Answer

World Maps Online states that the equator is an imaginary line encircling Earth halfway between the North Pole and the South Pole – where the northern hemisphere meets the southern hemisphere. The equator forms the zero-degree latitude of Earth, while both the South Pole and the North Pole form the 90-degree latitudes. There are 90 degrees between the equator and each pole. Therefore, "30 degrees N" indicates the latitude 30 degrees north of the equator, while "30 degrees S" indicates the latitude 30 degrees south of the equator. Because of this, each level of latitude exists in two segments. High latitude is 60 degrees and above N (including the North Pole) and 60 degrees and above S (including the South Pole), mid latitude is 31 to 59 degrees N and 31 to 59 degrees S, and low latitude is 0 to 30 degrees N and 0 to 30 degrees S.

According to Spaceweather, aurora forecasts often distinguish between low, mid and high latitudes; though there is no universally accepted definition of these categories. Spaceweather states that Alaska, Canada, U.S. northern border states, Scandinavia, northern parts of the United Kingdom, New Zealand and southernmost Australia are all high-latitude locations. Northern Germany and Poland, southern parts of the United Kingdom, and U.S. states such as Oregon and North Carolina are all mid-latitude locations. Mexico, Puerto Rico, Spain, Portugal, northern Australia, nations around the Mediterranean Sea, and southernmost U.S. states such as Texas and Florida are all low-latitude locations.

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