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Direction of Prevailing Winds

Featured QuizWind ClipartPrevailing winds is the mechanism by which weather systems move around the earth. The oceans and other major bodies of water are the source of most of the earth’s precipitation. If an area close to a major body of water is in the path of prevailing winds that originate from the body of water, then the winds will be loaded with water vapour. As a result, the area will have high precipitation levels. If an area close to the same body of water has prevailing winds coming from a large continental region, the winds will be very dry, and the area will receive a small amount of precipitation. Direction from which the prevailing winds blow and geographic position play an important role in determining the climate of an area.

Reprinted from Alberta Natural Regions Poster Series Manual with the permission of Alberta Community Development, Parks and Protected Areas.

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