Steady winds blowing from east to west above and below the equator; SYN. trade.
Prevailing wind that blows toward the equator from the northeast and southeast. Trade winds are caused by hot air rising at the equator and the consequent movement of air from north and south to take its place. The winds are deflected toward the west because of the Earth's west-to-east rotation.
The unpredictable calms known as the doldrums lie at their convergence.
The trade-wind belts move north and south about 5ş with the seasons. The name is derived from the obsolete expression “blow trade” meaning to blow regularly, which indicates the trade winds’ importance to navigation in the days of cargo-carrying sailing ships. SYN. trade-wind