The Westerliers are anti-trade winds blow from the sub tropical high pressure belts towards the sub polar low pressure belts and. crop up between 30 and 60 degrees latitude in the northern hemisphere and between 30 and 60 degrees latitude in the southern hemisphere. They are called the ‘Westerlies’ as they blow out of the west, while other winds run east to west.
Due to the influence of the ‘Coriolis Force’, they blow from southwest to north-east in the northern hemisphere and north-west to south-east in the southern hemisphere. Unlike the trades, these winds are more powerful in winter. Moreover, they are not so constant in direction and strength as the trades. However, westerlies are strongest in the winter, when pressure over the pole is low, and weakest in summer, when the polar high creates stronger polar easterlies
In the southern hemisphere the westerlies are stronger, while those of the northern hemisphere are irregular. Due to the disruption caused by the huge landmasses in the northern hemisphere, the velocity and direction of the westerlies vary a great deal. So they are called the ‘variable westerlies’ and the belt of the variables is characterized by cyclones and anticyclones.
However, in the southern hemisphere, due to the vast expanse of sea, especially between 40º and 60ºS latitudes, these winds blow uninterruptedly with much greater velocity and regularity as the ‘Brave West Wind’. The latitudes in which they blow are accordingly named as the ‘Roaring Forties’, ‘Furious Fifties’ and ‘Screaming Sixties’.
The weterlies blow on to the shore from the sea. Thus, as the weterlies blow from warm seas to cooler lands, they carry a lot of moisture and bring much precipitation to the western coasts of the continents in the mid-latitudes.