Two belts of low pressure, characterized by low winds, about 30°north and south of the equator. The air rises at or neat the equator because of low pressure and then circles in the atmosphere, but much falls near the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. The falling air gives rise to fairly permanent regions of high pressure, which are the horse latitudes. Both the trade winds, which blow from the horse latitudes toward the equator, and the westerly winds, which blow from the horse latitudes toward the poles, are caused by the high pressure. Sailing ships bound for America carrying horses were often becalmed in the horse latitudes: many horses died from lack of fresh water and were cast overboard.
Related category ATMOSPHERIC PHENOMENA AND STRUCTURES
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