Middle latitudes

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

The middle latitudes (also called the mid-latitudes, sometimes midlatitudes, or moderate latitudes) of Earth lie between 23°26'22" and 66°33'39" north, and between 23°26'22" and 66°33'39" south. They include Earth's subtropical and temperate zones, which lie between the tropics and the polar circles (between the Tropic of Cancer and the Arctic Circle, and between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Antarctic Circle). 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 (latitudes between 40° and 50° in both hemispheres).

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

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