06 June 2017

Atmospheric circulation map

I've been working on a worldbuilding article that requires quite a few graphics of the process and I've just started working on these now. This is the first of hopefully many such graphics: the Atmospheric Circulation map.

                             Atmospheric Circulation Map

Atmospheric Circulation
You can divide both northern and southern hemisphere into three distinct bands between the equator (0O) and 30O, 30O and 60O, and 60O and 90O. These can be called tropical, temperate, and arctic bands. These bands are also used to calculate atmospheric circulation, as seen below. Flora and fauna from one band will struggle to survive in another and biomes are typically unique to each band.

Hadley Cell: warm air rises at the equator and cools as it moves towards to poles, falling at 30O latitude, moving back towards the equator along the earth's surface, where it becomes warm again. Air moving towards the equator collects moisture, giving rainforests the climate they need to thrive. Air moving towards the 30O latitude has lost its moisture and is dry, explaining the many deserts found at such latitudes. Prevailing winds in the Hadley cells blow towards the west and the equator - rain shadows will form on the west sides of continents if the winds are blocked by mountains.

Ferrel Cell: warm air rises from the surface at the 60O latitude, moving either towards the pole or equator (where it becomes part of the Polar Cell or Ferrel Cell, respectively). In the Ferrel Cell cool dry air drops at the 30O latitude. Prevailing winds in the Ferrel cells blow towards the east - rain shadows may form on the east sides of continents if the winds are blocked by mountains.

Polar cell: warm air rises at 60O latitude, moving towards the poles, cooling as it moves eastward, sinking at the pole. This air is dry, which means there is little rainfall.

#HadleyCell, #FerrelCell, #AtmosphericCirculation, #Climate, #Worldbuilding, #Elyden, #Vorropohaiah



  1. Nice! Now this is the way to world build. We await more...

  2. Wow, I wish I'd seen this when I was building my world! I used the same rules when building my world of Kelerathor but boy did I go doen tje rabbit hoke researching weather patterns, biome locations, etc.

    This is material that one could easily spend a whole semester studying. You summarize it very nicely!

    1. edit: *...down the rabbit hole...

    2. thanks :) i did get sucked down the rabbit hole myself whilst researching this :)