The importance of the subtropical high-pressure cells is evident from the above discussion. Dynamic, rather than immediately thermal, in origin, and situated between 20° and 30° latitude, they seem to provide the key to the world's major wind belts, shown by the maps in Figure 7.12. In the northern hemisphere, the pressure gradients surrounding these cells are strongest between October and April. In terms of actual pressure, however, oceanic cells experience their highest pressure in summer, the belt being counterbalanced at low levels by thermal low-pressure conditions over the continents. Their strength and persistence clearly mark them as the dominating factor controlling the position and activities both of the trades and the westerlies.
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