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Windward and leeward

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(Redirected from Windward)

Windward is the direction from which a present wind is blowing. The side of for example, a ship which is towards the windward is the weather side, known in some quarters as the "high side".

Leeward is the direction towards which the present wind is blowing. The side of the ship towards the leeward is the lee side also known as the "low side".

In general, the pronunciation is "looard" and "windard" but that is nowadays, rather old-fashioned. In any case, the pronunciation for the islands of the Lesser Antilles is Leeward and Windward respectively.

Meteorological significance

The terms "leeward" and "windward" refer respectively to what a game stalker would call down-wind and up-wind. The terms are used by seamen in relation to their ships but also in reference to islands in an archipelago and to the different sides of a single island. In the latter case, the windward side is that side of an island subject to the prevailing wind, and is thus the wetter side (see orographic precipitation). The leeward side is the side protected by the elevation of the island from the prevailing wind, and is typically the drier side of an island. Thus, leeward or windward siting is a important weather and climate factor on oceanic islands.

In the case of an archipelago, "windward islands" are upwind and "leeward islands" are the downwind ones.

See also

nl:Lijzijde

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