Q. Which of the following are refer as the Roaring Forties, Furious Fifties and Shrieking or Stormy Sixties?

[A] Westerlies

[B] Easterlies

[C] Doldrums

[D] Horse latitudes

Answer: A

The Roaring Forties take shape as warm air near the equator rises and moves toward the poles.  

  • Warm air moving pole-ward (on both sides of the equator) is the result of nature trying to reduce the temperature difference between the equator and at the poles created by uneven heating from the sun. 
  • This process sets up global circulation cells, which are mainly responsible for global-scale wind patterns.  
  • The air descends back to Earth’s surface at about 30 degrees’ latitude north and south of the equator. This is known as the high-pressure subtropical ridge, also known as the horse latitudes.  
  • Here, as the temperature gradient decreases, air is deflected toward the poles by the Earth’s rotation, causing strong westerly and prevailing winds at approximately 40 degrees. These winds are the Roaring Forties. 
  • The Roaring Forties in the Northern Hemisphere don’t pack the same punch that they do in the Southern Hemisphere.  
  • This is because the large land masses of North America, Europe, and Asia obstructing the airstream, whereas, in the southern hemisphere, there is less land to break the wind in South America, Australia, and New Zealand. 
  • While the Roaring Forties may be fierce, 10 degrees south are even stronger gale-force winds called the Furious Fifties.  
  • And 10 degrees south of the Furious Fifties lay the Screaming Sixties! We can thank the intrepid sailors of yore for these wildly descriptive terms. 

Source: G C Leong