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What is the south wind called?

What is «south wind»

A south wind is a wind that originates in the south and blows north.

Words used in English to describe the south wind are auster, buster (a violent south gale), föhn/foehn (alps), gibli ( Libya with various spellings), friagem (a cold south wind blowing into Brazil from the Antarctic), khamsin (a hot spring wind in Egypt, with various spellings), kona (stormy southwest wind in Hawaii), notus (see mythology below for origin) and sirocco (North Africa).

In Native American Iroquois tradition, the south wind is brought by the Fawn, and has a warm and gentle temperament reminiscent of the sweet flowers, babbling brooks, and the voices of birds of summer.

South Wind (novel)

South Wind is a 1917 novel by British author Norman Douglas. It is Douglas’ most famous book. It is set on an imaginary island called Nepenthe, located off the coast of Italy in the Tyrrhenian Sea, a thinly fictionalized description of Capri’s residents and visitors. The novel’s discussion of moral and sexual issues caused considerable debate.

In Dorothy Sayers’s 1926 detective novel Clouds of Witness, Lord Peter Wimsey goes through the possessions of a murdered man – a young British man living in Paris, whose morality had been put in question. Finding a copy of South Wind Wimsey remarks «Our young friend works out very true to type».

South Wind (train)

The South Wind was a named passenger train equipped and operated jointly by the Pennsylvania Railroad, the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad (later Seaboard Coast Line), and the Florida East Coast Railway. The South Wind began operations in December 1940, providing streamliner service between Chicago, Illinois and Miami, Florida. This was one of three seven-car streamlined trains operating every third day along different routes between Chicago and Miami. The other two trains were the City of Miami and the Dixie Flagler. The South Wind remained in service through the creation of Amtrak in 1971 but was soon replaced by the Floridian.

South wind (disambiguation)

The south wind is the wind that originates from the south and blows north. South wind may also refer to:

  • South Wind (novel), by Norman Douglas.
  • South Wind (train), which operated between Chicago and Florida from 1940 to 1971.
  • Southwind Drum and Bugle Corps a Drum Corps International Open Class (formerly Division II/III) corps from Mobile, Alabama
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Usage examples of «south wind».

His mind shook open on a harp note that was also a call to a south wind burning across the backlands.

Memphis was as empty as other cities had been, but a south wind was blowing, and it brought a fetid reek from what had been the teeming districts around Beale Street.

What Are Trade Winds?

icon of a magnifying glass

The trade winds are winds that reliably blow east to west just north and south of the equator. The winds help ships travel west, and they can also steer storms such as hurricanes, too.

When you’re outside, you might notice that one day the wind blows one direction and the next day, wind is blowing a different direction. That’s a pretty common occurrence.

However, many winds on Earth are quite predictable. For example, high in the atmosphere, the jet streams typically blow across Earth from west to east. The trade winds are air currents closer to Earth’s surface that blow from east to west near the equator.

World map illustration with arrows representing trade winds.

The trade winds blow from east to west near the equator. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The trade winds have been used by sailors for centuries. Sailors traveling from Europe or Africa used the trade winds to travel to North or South America. Just like airplanes can use the wind boost from the jet stream to shorten a journey flying east, sailors can use the trade winds to shorten a sea journey when sailing west.

Why do the trade winds blow from east to west?

The trade winds blow toward the west partly because of how Earth rotates on its axis. The trade winds begin as warm, moist air from the equator rises in the atmosphere and cooler air closer to the poles sinks.

Illustration of the Hadley cell phenomenon, caused by a cycle of warm, moist air rising near the equator that eventually cools and sinks a bit further north in the tropics.

The trade winds are created by a cycle of warm, moist air rising near the equator. The air eventually cools and sinks a bit further north in the tropics. This phenomenon is called the Hadley cell. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

So, if air is cycling from the equator to the poles, why don’t all winds blow north and south? That’s where Earth’s rotation changes things. Because Earth rotates as the air is moving, the winds in the Northern Hemisphere curve to the right and air in the Southern Hemisphere curves to the left.

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This phenomenon is called the Coriolis Effect and it’s why the trade winds blow toward the west in both the Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere. The trade winds can be found about 30 degrees north and south of the equator. Right at the equator there is almost no wind at all—an area sometimes called the doldrums.

Illustration of Earth that calls out the area of almost no wind at the equator called the doldrums.

Earth’s rotation causes the trade winds to curve toward the west in the Northern Hemisphere and the east in the Southern Hemisphere. The area of almost no wind at the equator is called the doldrums. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

How do the doldrums and trade winds affect our weather?

The Sun shines very directly at the equator, creating very intense heat. The heat warms the air and causes some ocean water to evaporate, meaning air in the doldrums becomes warm and moist. This warm, moist air rises in the atmosphere and cools, becoming clouds — and eventually rain and storms — in tropical regions. In the Atlantic Ocean, some of these storms become hurricanes, and the trade winds can steer hurricanes west toward the United States.

NOAA’s GOES-East satellite keeps an eye on how trade winds impact the movement of hurricanes and tropical storms toward the southeastern United States. In this video, GOES-East captured cumulus clouds east of the Caribbean Islands being carried west by the trade winds.

In January 2020, GOES-East captured this series of images showing trade winds moving cumulus clouds in the Caribbean. In this view, the ocean water is black, the low clouds are blue and lavender, and the higher clouds are yellow. Credit: NOAA/CIRA

What is the south wind called?

Wind God Aeolus

The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails. -William Arthur Ward

Before science enabled us to understand the phenomena of earth’s environment, humankind struggled to explain the uncontrollable, magical, terrible, wondrous, destructive, sustaining, frightening, chaotic and often seemingly random forces of nature. While rain was often associated with life and fertility, thunderstorms were associated with power and might. Thunder and lightning were the domain of the most powerful sky gods such as the familiar Greek god Zeus, the Sumerian Ishkur and the Finnish Ukko. The wind was viewed by many ancient and native peoples as the work of fickle powers and understood to be the harbinger of change — for good and ill.

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Many civilizations worshipped wind deities — often with separate gods and goddesses for each cardinal direction. In Greek mythology, the Anemoi, or the Winds, were the four sons of the dawn goddess, Eos, and the god of dusk, Astraeu. Boreas was the Greek god of the north wind called the cold breadth of winter while Notus was the Greek god of the south wind known as the god of summer rain storms. Zephyrus, the gentle west wind, was the most benevolent of the four and the only one that featured prominently in myth. Eurus was the Greek god of the east wind.


Many early civilizations similarly honored spirits or worshipped gods and goddesses of wind. Da-jo-ji was the Native American (Iroquois) mighty panther spirit of the west wind. Tilocayoti was the Aztec god of the east wind. Bieggolmai was the unpredictable Sami god of the summer winds and storms who used two shovels to shuffle the winds into and out of his cave. Feng Popo («madam wind») was the Chinese goddess of the wind. She is usually depicted as an old woman riding through the clouds on the back of a tiger. The Greek god Aeolus was considered king of the winds. Since the winds were conceived of as horse-shaped spirits, Aeolus was titled Hippotades, «the reiner of horses,» from the Greek hippos («horse») and taden («reined in tightly»). The Egyptian and Berber god of creation and the wind was Amun. The name of the pharaoh Tutankhamun (aka «King Tut») translates to, «the living image of Amun

Some of the historical names of the wind deities have carried on into modernity and remains part of our 21st century lexicon. Habagat is the Philippine god of winds and rain who rules the kingdom of silver and gold in the sky. Contemporary use of the term in the Philippines refers to a weather system that is composed of warm and humid winds moving in a southwest direction associated with monsoon rains. Huracan was the Mayan god of wind, storms and fire and is considered to be the possible source of the word hurricane.

Other notable wind deities include:
Amihan: Tagalog and Visayan (Philippine) god of the cool, northeast wind.
Anitun Tabu: Tagalog (Philippine) goddess of wind and rain.
Aura: Greek Titan goddess of the breeze and the fresh, cool air of the early morning.
Aurae: Greek nymphs of the breezes.
Ba’al: Semitic (Ugaritic) god of lightning, wind, rain, and fertility.
Biegkegaellies: Sami god of winter winds and storms.
Buhawi: Tagalog (Philippine) god of whirlwinds and typhoons Caicias: Greek god of the northeast wind.
Cihuatecayoti: Aztec god of the west wind.
Circios: Greek god of the north-northeast wind.
Also known as Thraskias.
Dogoda: Slavic god of quiet pleasant wind and clear weather.
Egoi: Basque god of the south wind.
Ehecatl: Aztec god of wind.
Enlil: Sumerian god of air and storms (means «lord of the storm or wind»).
Erebos: Greek god of the south-east wind.
Euronotus: Greek god of the southwest wind.
Eurus: Greek god of the east wind.
Favonius: Roman god of the west wind (although the Romans often used the Greek Zephr in poetry).
Fei Lian: Chinese (Taoist) god of wind. Human form is Feng Bo.
Fujin: Japanese god of the wind. One of the eldest Shinto gods.
Gaoh: Iroquois spirit master of the winds.
Guabancex: Native American (Taino) storm goddess («Lady of the Winds») Harpyiai: Greek Daimons of whirlwinds and storm gusts.
Hotoru: Pawnee wind god Kahit: Native American (Kahit) wind god.
Kaikias: The Greek god of the north-east wind.
Kon Incan god of rain and wind.
Lihangin: Visayan (Philippine) god (king) of the winds.
Linamin at Barat: Goddess of monsoon winds in Palawan.
Lips: The Greek god of the southwest wind.
Menuo: Lithuanian god of the east wind.
Mictianpachecati: Aztec god of the north wind.
Negafook: Inuit god of weather systems — represents the north wind.
Ne-o-gah: Native American (Iroquois) gentle fawn spirit of the south wind.
Niltsi: Native American (Navajo) wind god.
Ninlil: Sumerian (Mesopotamian) goddess of the wind. Consort of Enlil.
Njoror: Norse god of the wind and sea.
Notus: Greek god of the south wind known as the god of summer rain storms.
Novensiles: Nine Roman gods of lightning.
Nuada: Celtic god of sky, wind, and war.
Welsh equivalent is Nudd or Lludd Llaw Eraint.
Oonawith Unggi: Native American (Cherokee) ancient spirit of the wind.
Oya: Yoruban deity of winds, lightning and violent storms.
O-yan-do-ne: The moose spirit of the east wind.
Pauahtuns: Mayan wind gods. Also referred to as Bacabs.
Pazuzu: Assyrian and Babylonian demon of the southwest wind.
Perun: Slavic god of thunder, lightning and wind.
He carries a mighty axe and is the highest god of the Slavic pantheon.
Pietys: Lithuanian god of the south wind.
Qebui: Egyptian god of the north wind. Appears as a ram with four heads.
Q’ug’umatz: Mayan god of wind and rain.
Quetzalcoatl: Aztec god of wind.
Rudra: Vedic wind or storm god.
Rytys: Lithuanian god of the east wind.
Shinatsuhiko: Japanese goddess of wind. Also called Shinatobe.
Shu: Egyptian god of the wind and air.
Siaurys: Lithuanian god of the north wind.
Silla: Native American (Inuit) god of the sky, wind and the weather. Also called Silap Inua.
Skiron: Greed god of the north-west wind.
Stribog: Slavic god and spirit of the winds, sky and air.
Szelatya: Hungarian god of wind. Also Szelkiraly or Yet Ata.
Tate: Native American (Lakota) wind god or spirit.
Tawhiri: Maori (ancient New Zealand) god of weather including thunder, lightning, wind, clouds, and storms. Also spelled Tawhirimatea.
Tezcatlipoca: Aztec god of hurricanes and night wind.
Tialocayoti: Aztec god of the east wind.
Vakaris: Lithuanian god of the west wind.
Varpulis: Slavic god of storm winds. Companion of Perun. Sometimes equated with Erishvorsh.
Varuna: Hindu god of the sky.
Vayu-Vata: Avestan (Persian) wind god.
Venti: Roman wind gods who were each ascribed a cardinal direction from which the winds blew. Correspond to Greek Anemoi.
Vitzlampaehecati: Aztec god of the south wind.
Wayra Tata: Puruha Quechuas (and Aymaras) god associated with hurricane winds and fertilizing rains. Also spelled Huayra-tata.
Waziya: Native American (Lakota) giant of the north winds. Guards the aurora borealis. Controls ice and snow.
Wiyohipeyata: Native American (Lakota) god or spirit of the west winds.
Wiyohiyanpa: Native American (Lakota) god or spirit of the east winds.
Yaponcha: Native American (Hopi) wind god.
Ya-o-gah: Native American (Iroquois) destructive bear spirit of the north wind.
Zephyrus: Greek god of the west wind known as the god of spring breezes.

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Note: This article does not comprise original scholarly work. It is presented as a curiosity for the weather enthusiast as a compilation of publicly available information on the internet.

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