What are the 3 types of atmospheric circulation cells?

By Ritesh|Updated : September 3rd, 2022

The Hadley cell, Ferrel cell, and polar cell are the 3 types of atmospheric circulation cells. Hadley cell occurs between the Tropics and the Equator. Polar cell Occurs between 60 and 70 degrees north and south of the poles. Ferrel cell occurs between 30 and 60 degrees north and south.

3 Types of Atmospheric Circulation Cells

Hadley's cell

The Hadley cell is the first one. The sun heats the ground quite quickly at the equator. As a result, air rises, forming a low-pressure area on the Earth’s surface.

The air cools as it ascends, creating the storm clouds known as cumulonimbus. When the air reaches the upper atmosphere, the following takes place:

  • As the air divides, it flows in opposite directions toward the poles.
  • The subtropical high-pressure zone is created as the air cools and dips toward the earth at around 30° north and south.
  • The air warms and dries out as it sinks.
  • Deserts can thus be found in areas with limited cloud cover and little precipitation.
  • Then, the Hadley cell is finished.
  • As the trade winds, the air completes the cycle and moves back towards the equator.
  • Northeast trade winds are winds that blow to the right and are present in the northern hemisphere.
  • The southeast trade winds are the winds that blow to the left in the southern hemisphere.
  • The Coriolis force and friction are to blame for this.

Ferrel's cell

  • Higher latitudes (between 30 and 60 degrees N and 30 and 60 degrees S) are where the Ferrel cell occurs:
  • The warm south-westerly winds in the northern hemisphere and north-westerly winds in the southern hemisphere are formed by air on the surface drawn towards the poles.
  • The Hadley cell is then complete.
  • The air completes the cycle and flows back towards the equator as the trade winds.
  • Trade winds from the northeast are present in the northern hemisphere and blow to the right.
  • The winds that blow to the left in the southern hemisphere are the southeast trade winds.
  • Friction and the Coriolis force are to fault for this.
  • The Ferrel cell occurs at higher latitudes (between 30 and 60 degrees N and 30 and 60 degrees S):
  • Air on the surface is drawn towards the poles, creating warm south-westerly winds in the northern hemisphere and north-westerly winds in the southern hemisphere.

Polar cell

  • The Polar high results from air being cooled at the poles as it sinks toward the ground and creates a high-pressure area.
  • Then it moves in the direction of lower latitudes. The subpolar low is a region of low pressure formed when cold polar air interacts with warmer tropical air around 60 degrees N and S.
  • The polar front refers to the line between warm and cold air, explaining the weather's unpredictability at these latitudes.

Summary:

What are the 3 types of atmospheric circulation cells?

The Hadley cell, Ferrel cell, and polar cell are the three different kinds of atmospheric circulation cells.

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