What Are the Three Major Wind Belts?


The three major wind belts, also known as circulations, are the Hadley cell, the Ferrel cell and the Polar cell. The circulation of these winds is caused by the rotation of the earth and the energy of the sun.

How these circulations move between the poles and the equator determines climate.

The Hadley cell covers latitudes from the equator to about 30 degrees. The air movement in this cell creates the subtropical jet stream, which flows from west to east.

The Ferrel cell covers latitudes from 30 to 60 degrees. The winds in this cell are prevailing westerlies at the Earth's surface.

The Polar cell covers latitudes above 60 degrees. At the poles, the air sinks and creates prevailing easterly winds.