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The Roaring Forties is the name given to strong westerly winds found in the Southern Hemisphere, generally between the latitudes of 40 and 50 degrees. The strong west-to-east air currents are caused by the combination of air being displaced from the Equator towards the South Pole and the Earth's rotation, and there are few landmasses to serve as windbreaks. The Roaring Forties was a major aid to ships sailing from Europe to the East Indies or Australasia during the Age of Sail, and in modern usage is favoured by yachtsmen on round-the-world voyages and competitions. The boundaries of the Roaring Forties are not consistent, and shift north or south depending on the season. Similar but stronger conditions occur in more southerly latitudes, and are referred to as the Furious Fifties and Shrieking or Screaming Sixties.
The Nuttall Encyclopedia
a sailor's term for the Atlantic lying between 40° and 50°N. latitude, so called from the storms often encountered there.
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"roaring forties." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2015. Web. 1 Dec. 2015. <http://www.definitions.net/definition/roaring forties>.