The world's deserts are classified by their location and can be found throughout the world:
- The subtropics: This is where most of the Earth's greatest deserts are found. The dryness of these regions is mostly due to the general circulation of the atmosphere and how dry or moisture-bearing winds affect the regions.
- Middle-latitude continental interiors: The arid nature of these areas is mainly the result of their distance from the oceans. These deserts are cloudless and have average temperatures below freezing in the winter.
- Leeward sides of mountains: These deserts include those in the American Southwest. Clouds release their moisture on a mountain's windward slopes, leaving only dry air to circulate to the leeward side.
- Coastal areas: Cold coastal currents tend to inhibit cloud formation because they stabilize the air over the adjoining shore.
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