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    Canonfire :: View topic - Is it weird that prevailing winds blow from the east?
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    Is it weird that prevailing winds blow from the east?
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    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: Sep 20, 2001
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    Sun Jan 15, 2023 11:55 am  
    Is it weird that prevailing winds blow from the east?

    Let's assume for the purposes of this discussion that Oerth rotates and the sun rises in the east and sets in the west just as on earth.

    According to the Guide and subsequent sources, prevailing winds in the Flanaess blow from the east (northeast in winter & autumn, east & southeast spring & summer).

    Could someone with a better grasp on climatology than me state whether this situation is odd or not? Would we expect, all things being equal, that prevailing winds blow from the west instead as they do across North America?
    GreySage

    Joined: Jul 26, 2010
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    From: LG Dyvers

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    Sun Jan 15, 2023 1:01 pm  



    The above image shows how the prevailing winds on earth generally move. As you can see, for the first 30 degrees north and south of our equator, the prevailing winds move from east to west. From 30 degrees to 60 degrees (north and south of the equator) they move from west to east. This is where the US sits, so if you recall seeing the weather on the news you remember that weather patterns generally move from California eastward across the continent to the Atlantic states. From 90 degrees north and south latitudes to the north and south poles (0 degrees) the prevailing winds reverse again and travel from the east to the west.

    You'd think that if the prevailing wind directly north and south of the equator was moving in the same direction it would be windy-est right on the equator. You'll have to do some research to find out why, but it frequently results in the doldrums, which is a complete lack of wind for days, or even weeks, at a time.

    Since the weather patterns on earth are a mirror image of themselves north and south of the equator, it seems reasonable that such patterns could have evolved in an opposite direction on any other planet or large moon in the real world. Thus, it is quite reasonable to believe that the weather pattern across most of the Flanaess is opposite to that of earth (being roughly between 30 degrees and 60 degrees north lattitude).

    By the way, that was one of Christopher Columbus' secrets: he knew that the prevailing winds (Westerlies) generally blew eastward across Europe, coming from the Atlantic Ocean. Being an experienced ship captain, he also knew that the prevailing winds south of the Mediterranean Sea blew westward (Trade Winds). He knew that if he let the Trade Winds blow his sailing ships westward, he could always jibe north a bit to hit the Westerlies, which would bring him back home. That's why he ended up in the Caribbean Islands instead of what is now Florida or the eastern US sea coast.

    SirXaris
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    Last edited by SirXaris on Sun Jan 15, 2023 1:19 pm; edited 2 times in total
    GreySage

    Joined: Jul 26, 2010
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    From: LG Dyvers

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    Sun Jan 15, 2023 1:14 pm  



    Addendum:

    This all makes sense when you look at the Darlene map of the Flanaess. You'll see that, far to the south, closer to the equator where the prevailing winds should be traveling in the opposite direction from those traveling across the greater portion of the Flanaess, that the plumes from the Hellfurnaces indicate that the prevailing winds travel eastward. That would be opposite to that of our real world.

    The only problem I have with that is that I have read in print that the ash from the Hellfurnaces adds layers to the eastern portion of the Sea of Dust. That works. If the ash plumes from constantly active volcanoes traveled eastward (as depicted on the map), it would cause a large portion of the western side of the Amedio Jungle adjacent to the mountains to be a barren wasteland.

    You'll have to come up with your own explanation for that. Happy

    SirXaris
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    GreySage

    Joined: Oct 06, 2008
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    Sun Jan 15, 2023 5:14 pm  

    SirXaris wrote:
    . . . seeing the weather on the news you remember that weather patterns generally move from California eastward across the continent to the Atlantic states.


    If someone would just expliain that to hurricanes they'd hit Europe, instead of the U.S.. Evil Grin
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    GreySage

    Joined: Jul 26, 2010
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    From: LG Dyvers

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    Sun Jan 15, 2023 5:35 pm  

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:
    SirXaris wrote:
    . . . seeing the weather on the news you remember that weather patterns generally move from California eastward across the continent to the Atlantic states.


    If someone would just expliain that to hurricanes they'd hit Europe, instead of the U.S.. Evil Grin


    I know you may be joking there, Mystic, but I'll point out a few things.

    Most Hurricanes that end up hitting the Gulf Coast usually begin south of the 30 degree parallel (latitude line). They begin their journey being blown northwestward across the Caribbean Sea until they come near the 30 degree parallel. That's when their course begins to change to a more northerly direction, then a northeasterly direction. When they begin farther out in the Atlantic and don't make contact with land, they tend to travel north to the 60 degree parallel where they cross into westward-blowing prevailing winds which turn them back toward New England.

    SirXaris
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    Last edited by SirXaris on Tue Jan 17, 2023 8:02 pm; edited 1 time in total
    GreySage

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    Mon Jan 16, 2023 8:38 am  

    There you go. Spoiling everyone's fun with . . . science. (We need a face in palm emoji)

    In a world of magic, you bring in science. Razz

    Wink
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    Adept Greytalker

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    Mon Jan 16, 2023 11:46 am  

    Quote:
    Since the weather patterns on earth are a mirror image of themselves north and south of the equator, it seems reasonable that such patterns could have evolved in an opposite direction on any other planet or large moon in the real world. Thus, it is quite reasonable to believe that the weather pattern across most of the Flanaess is opposite to that of earth (being roughly between 30 degrees and 60 degrees north lattitude).


    Is this true, though? Yes, north and south are mirror images of each other, but winds go west to east, both in the north and south, in those middle latitudes where the Flanaess lies. Doesn't this have something to do with the direction of the rotation of the earth? Is this really just a roll of the dice which way they go, west to east, or east to west?

    (Thank you for the long reply and all of you for your consideration of this, admittedly niche, topic.)
    GreySage

    Joined: Aug 03, 2001
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    From: Michigan

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    Tue Jan 17, 2023 7:55 pm  

    edmundscott wrote:
    Doesn't this have something to do with the direction of the rotation of the earth?


    That's my understanding, yes. If the Oerth rotates in the same direction as Earth, the winds should blow in the same directions as well.

    Oerth's weather is supposed to be at least partially magical in nature, but it doesn't seem like too much of a change to make the winds blow whichever way you think is best.
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Feb 01, 2005
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    Thu Jan 19, 2023 8:28 am  

    The Unchained Goddess by Bell Labs may provide some additional insight -

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqClSPWVnNE&ab_channel=JackFuller

    Yes, it may seem dated by today's standards, but it should be helpful (and nostalgic for some).

    Cheers
    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: Sep 20, 2004
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    From: British Isles

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    Mon Jan 23, 2023 10:20 am  

    This is something I hashed up a while back. I'd like to add that I have no expertise in wind patterns or ocean currents so this was a best guess based on what little I read!

    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Feb 01, 2005
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    From: Columbus, Ohio

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    Mon Jan 23, 2023 12:46 pm  

    Wolfling, could you post the unmarked map here as well, please? It's so lovely.

    Thanks.
    Adept Greytalker

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    Tue Jan 24, 2023 12:32 am  

    Sure thing, I'd been asked by a couple of people to do this a while back but kept forgetting!



    Hmmm, this is a different map. I'm just on my way to work so will check through my files when I'm home tonight!
    GreySage

    Joined: Jul 26, 2010
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    From: LG Dyvers

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    Tue Jan 24, 2023 2:10 pm  

    In Agnosco Adventum, I mentioned that the ocean currents from the Azure Sea round the northern tip of the Amedian Penninsula and move in a clock-wise direction around Jeklea bay to exit back into the Azure Sea near the isles of the Sea Princes (Flotsom, Jetsom, and Fairwind). That was based on the movement of the currents in the Gulf of Mexico in our real world and are in keeping with the flow indicated on Wolfling's map. A reversal of the prevailing winds may, or may not, make that inaccurate.

    SirXaris
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