Sanders, Frederick Department of Meteorology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Bluestein, Howard B. Department of Meteorology, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma.
Last reviewed:June 2020
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- Cyclonic and anticyclonic circulation
- Convergent or divergent patterns
- Zonal surface winds
- Upper air circulation
- Variation of wind with height
- Minor terrestrial winds
- Local winds
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The motion of air relative to the Earth's surface. The term usually refers to horizontal air motion, as distinguished from vertical motion, and to air motion averaged over a chosen period of 1–3 min. Micrometeorological circulations (air motion over periods of the order of a few seconds) and others small enough in extent to be obscured by this averaging are thereby eliminated. The choice of the 1- to 3-min interval has proven suitable for the study of the hour-to-hour and day-to-day changes in the atmospheric circulation pattern, and the larger-scale aspects of the atmospheric general circulation (see illustration).
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