Asked in Meteorology and Weather
Why does the westerlies flows in opposite direction to trade winds and polar easterlies?
December 31, 2014 1:52PM
The westerlies flow in opposite direction to trade winds and polar easterlies due to latitude
December 24, 2014 7:48PM
You can understand the same through the diagram of Hadley cells, Ferrel cells and Polar cells. You have pairs of them in both the north and the south hemispheres. You have very cold north and south poles. The equator is hottest. So the air should flow from north and south poles to the equator. This air flow will be in opposite direction. The same air should go up at the equator and then should flow to the north and south poles. But the distance is too long and you have three cells in the north hemisphere and three cells in the south hemisphere. So you have gear like mechanism to facilitate the air flow. So all the six cells move in opposite direction to each other. So you have the pair of Hadley cells that moves in opposite direction to each other. So air flows from cold to hot region, towards the equator in both the cases. In case of the Polar cells also, air flows from cold region to hot region. Now you have to explain the flow of Ferrel cell. Here the air flows in opposite direction. This cell gets energy from the Hadley cell and Polar cell. Both of them give equal energy to Ferrel cell. This happens due to gear like mechanism and explains the reverse flow of the air in case of the Ferrel cell. That is why the westerlies flows in opposite direction to trade winds and polar easterlies.