What is the Pressure Belts? Briefly Describes the Pressure Belts

In this post, we shall learn about the various Pressure Belts and Wind Patterns that have developed on Planet Earth. While understanding the basic concepts behind the development of pressure belts, we will not take into consideration the tilt of the axis and the influence of land water distribution.

What is the Pressure Belts

1. Equator Low-Pressure Belt

The Equator divides the Globe into Southern hemisphere and Northern hemisphere. The equatorial belt extends up to five degrees North and five degrees south. Equatorial region receives nearly vertical rays of the sun and this heats of the air near the equator. When temperature increases pressure decreases. So along the equator, we have low pressure and we call this region an equatorial low-pressure belt.

Equator Low-Pressure Belt

2. Subtropical High-Pressure Belts

The warm air starts rising up in the troposphere and as the warm air is rising the temperature drops. After rising up to a certain point it stops rising upwards because it becomes Cooler and it is obstructed by the tropopause. So the air spreads out the air starts moving in the Southern and Northern direction.

Subtropical High-Pressure Belts

As the air is moving it becomes denser and after a certain point, it sinks down to the surface. So at around 30 degrees north and south we have sinking air. This sinking air is cool air, so it forms high-pressure systems. These regions are called as Subtropical High-Pressure Belts.

Because these regions lie outside the tropical region and at the same time adjoining the tropical region. The sinking air now moves towards North and south. So along the equator, the warm air rises Spread out and cools and sinks down in this way it develops Convectional currents.

Subtropical High-Pressure Belts

3. Polar Highs

At the poles, the sun rays are very much inclined. So we have cold air that sinks. These regions are known as Polar Highs.
Polar Highs

4. Sub Polar Lows

In the Northern hemisphere, the air moves towards the South and in the Southern hemisphere, the air moves towards the north.  At this point, we have air coming from North and south.  So at this point, the air converges and rises up. These regions are known as subpolar lows. So at 60-degree latitudes, we have a low-pressure system because we have rising air.

Sub Polar Lows
Along the equator, the air is rising because of convection. At subpolar lows, we have rising air because of convergence. This rising air also spreads out cools and sinks. Same things happen in the Southern hemisphere.
On the surface of the Earth along the equator, the winds move from high-pressure regions to low-pressure regions. That is from subtropical highs  to the equatorial low in the Northern and Southern hemisphere. These winds bend to the right in the Northern hemisphere and the Southern hemisphere the winds bend to the left. This is described as the Coriolis effect.

Coriolis effect.
The winds bend to the right and left in the Northern and Southern hemisphere respectively, because the Earth is spherical in shape and the Earth rotates from West to east. In the same way in between 30 and 60 degrees North and South, the winds bend towards the right and left in the Northern and Southern hemispheres respectively. Even in the Polar region, the same phenomena can be seen.

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