Consider the following statements:
- The winds which blow between 30°N and 60°S latitude throughout the year are known as westerlies.
- The moist air masses that cause winter rains in North-Western region of India are part of westerlies.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
[UPSC Civil Services Exam – 2015 Prelims]
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
- The westerlies are prevailing winds that flow from the west towards the east and are considered permanent winds. They occur between the latitudes of 30°N-60°N and 30°S-60°S.
- In the Northern Hemisphere, they blow from southwest to northeast, while in the Southern Hemisphere, they blow from northwest to southeast.
- The westerlies are also known as anti-trade winds as they originate from high-pressure areas known as Horse latitudes and flow towards low-pressure areas near the poles.
- They are stronger in the Southern Hemisphere due to the vast expanse of ocean and less land.
- The westerlies are best observed between 40 to 60 degrees latitude, which are also known as the Roaring forties, Furious fifties, and Shrieking sixties.
- The westerlies exhibit fluctuations in the subpolar region, resulting in wet spells and variations in weather.
- Moist air masses associated with Western disturbances, originating from the Mediterranean Sea, often cause winter rains in the north-western region of India. Hence, statement 1 is not correct, while statement 2 is correct.
Therefore, option (b) is the correct answer.