3 Types of Atmospheric Circulation Cells
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.