Middle latitudes

Middle latitudes

World map with the tropical zone highlighted in red, which is bordered by the middle latitudes both to the north and south.

The middle latitudes (mid-latitudes, sometimes midlatitudes) are between 23°26'22" North and 66°33'39" North, and between 23°26'22" South and 66°33'39" South latitude, or, the Earth's temperate zones between the tropics and the Arctic and Antarctic polar regions. Weather fronts and extratropical cyclones are usually found in this area, as well as occasional tropical cyclones which have traveled from their areas of formation closer to the equator.

The prevailing winds in the middle latitudes are often very strong. These parts of the world also see a wide variety of fast-changing weather as cold air masses from the poles and warm air masses from the tropics push up and down over them, sometimes alternating within hours of each other, especially in the roaring forties (between 40 and 50 degrees latitude in both hemispheres).

There are four types of epic mid-latitude climates: mediterranean, humid subtropical, marine west coast, and humid continental.

See also