horse latitudes

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Related to horse latitude: westerlies, ITCZ, Roaring forties, Free trade zone

horse latitudes,

two belts of latitude where winds are light and the weather is hot and dry. They are located mostly over the oceans, at about 30° lat. in each hemisphere, and have a north-south range of about 5° as they follow the seasonal migration of the sun. The horse latitudes are associated with the subtropical anticycloneanticyclone,
region of high atmospheric pressure; anticyclones are commonly referred to as "highs." The pressure gradient, or change between the core of the anticyclone and its surroundings, combined with the Coriolis effect, causes air to circulate about the core in a clockwise
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 and the large-scale descent of air from high-altitude currents moving toward the poles. After reaching the earth's surface, this air spreads toward the equator as part of the prevailing trade winds or toward the poles as part of the westerlies. The belt in the Northern Hemisphere is sometimes called the "calms of Cancer" and that in the Southern Hemisphere the "calms of Capricorn." The term horse latitudes supposedly originates from the days when Spanish sailing vessels transported horses to the West Indies. Ships would often become becalmed in mid-ocean in this latitude, thus severely prolonging the voyage; the resulting water shortages would make it necessary for crews to throw their horses overboard.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Horse Latitudes


regions of the southern and northern hemispheres of the earth (between 30° and 35° N lat. and 30° and 35° S lat.). in the interior parts of the subtropical oceanic anticyclone belts, with light winds and frequent calms. The name “horse latitudes” goes back to the days of sailing ships, when the calms in the Atlantic Ocean forced the ships to stop for long periods of time, during which the lack of fresh water made it necessary to throw overboard the horses being transported from Europe to America.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

horse latitudes

[′hȯrs ¦lad·ə‚tüdz]
The belt of latitudes over the oceans at approximately 30-35°N and S where winds are predominantly calm or very light and weather is hot and dry.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Stumbling toward nightmare realizations, Horse Latitudes is a novel with the edge of the thriller and the bleak rawness of a documentary -- feral, needful, and unapologetic about the dark underbellies it reveals.
This is true, of course, throughout what one hesitates to call his "corpus," given that in Horse Latitudes the end of art, as of war and love, is road kill.
A different example of the self-reflexive statement, a suggestion of things falling apart in a Revelatory sort of way, may be found in Horse Latitudes in the title "It Is What It is," a 16-line poem at the center of which is a red-leather New Testament, "lying open, Lordie, on her lap." As most Muldoon readers know, since The Annals of Chile this poet has been transferring reflexive, and even specular, tropes to rhyme schemes across many-stanzaed poems.
Perhaps it is to Heaney's "Squarings" that Muldoon counters with a box cutter (stolen, I suspect, from another poem from Hay that echoes in Horse Latitudes, "Wire").
More alarmingly, "Paul" is in the recurrence of words that include, or otter synonyms for, "polls" that are axed, suggesting that the doctrine of correspondences so often consulted in The End of the Poem operates in Horse Latitudes to link battles but also, especially, revenge killings, sanctioned and otherwise, from the Irish past to those of the Iraqi present.
The title of his new book of poems, Horse Latitudes, isn't a place, so it must be a metaphor.
The horse latitudes, according to the dictionary, are "either of two ocean belts characterized by calms, light winds, high barometric pressure and hot, dry weather" and were given that name "because sailing vessels transporting horses to the West Indies often had to throw horses overboard because of water shortages resulting from delays while becalmed."
Centaurus, the Centaur, is, however, too far south for those of us above the northern horse latitudes to know whether Centaurus is on foot or on horseback.