Zonal flow

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Zonal flow is a meteorological term regarding atmospheric circulation following a general flow pattern along latitudinal lines, as opposed to meridional flow along longitudinal lines. Zonal, in the context of physics, connotes a tendency of flux to conform to a pattern parallel to the equator of a sphere. Generally, zonal flow of the atmosphere brings a temperature contrast along the Earth's longitude. Extratropical cyclones in this environment tend to be weaker, moving faster and producing relatively little impact on local weather.

See also


  • AMS Glossary of Meteorology
  • Zonal winds tend to bring calm weather
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