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Question Set: Prevailing Winds
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices
NGSS Crosscutting Concepts
NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas
Table of Contents

Use Fig. 3.10 to answer questions 1–3.


  1. Using Fig. 3.10 as a model, in the Southern Hemisphere:
    1. Draw arrows to show the circulation cells (Hadley, Ferrel, and polar). Label the cells.
    2. Draw arrows to show the direction of surface winds (easterlies, westerlies, and trade winds). Label the winds.
    3. Indicate where the horse latitudes are located.
  2. Label the high- and low-pressure regions for the air masses at the equator and
    1. at 30° N, 60° N, and 90° N.
    2. at 30° S, 60° S, and 90° S.
  3. Compare the directions of the major currents of air in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. How are they similar? How are they different?
  4. Climate is the general pattern of temperature, precipitation, wind, and atmospheric pressure in a particular area over long periods of time. How do you think air circulation patterns affect the earth’s climate patterns?
  5. High- and low-oceanic pressure regions are not stationary. They tend to migrate with the seasons, traveling north in the Northern Hemisphere summer and south in the Southern Hemisphere summer.
    1. Why do you think regions of high atmospheric pressure move north during the Northern Hemisphere summer?
    2. How do you think the migration of pressure systems affects wind patterns?
Exploring Our Fluid Earth, a product of the Curriculum Research & Development Group (CRDG), College of Education. University of Hawaii, 2011. This document may be freely reproduced and distributed for non-profit educational purposes.