West Wind Drift

West Wind Drift

[′west ¦wind ′drift]

West Wind Drift

 

a current in the southern hemisphere moving from west to east at approximately 40°-55°S, caused by prevailing western winds. It encircles the earth, crossing the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans; the cold Bengal, West Australian, and Peru currents branch off from it in the oceans. Its speed is 1-2 km per hr. Water temperature ranges from 12° to 15°C in northern areas of the drift and from 1 to 2°C in the south; salinity ranges from 35.0 ‰ in the north to 33.9-34.0 ‰ in the south. Along the northern and southern borders of the West Wind Drift, formed by zones of convergence of surface currents, large masses of floating algae accumulate in certain areas.

References in classic literature ?
In his mind's eye he saw its streets a thousand leagues long, aye, and longer; turnings that doubled earth's stormiest headlands or were the way to quiet inland ponds; cross-roads, taken one way, that led to flower-lands and summer seas, and that led the other way to bitter, ceaseless gales and the perilous bergs of the great west wind drift.

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