Windward Islands


Windward Islands
a group of islands in the SE West Indies, consisting of the S part of the Lesser Antilles: includes British, French, and independent territories.

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Island group, Lesser Antilles, West Indies.

Located at the eastern end of the Caribbean Sea, they include Dominica (sometimes classified as part of the Leeward Islands), Martinique, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Grenada, and the chain of small islands known as the Grenadines. Though near the general area, Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados are usually not considered part of the group.

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▪ islands, Cape Verde
Portuguese  Ilhas De Barlavento,  

      island group in the Atlantic Ocean off the West African coast, comprising one of two island groups of Cape Verde (q.v.) and consisting of the following islands: Boa Vista, Sal, Santa Luzia, Santo Antão, São Nicolau, and São Vicente. The landscape is generally barren and the climate always hot. The Windward Islands suffer from constant drought due to poor rainfall.

▪ islands, West Indies
French  Îles du Vent , Spanish  Islas de Barlovento 

      a line of West Indian islands constituting the southern arc of the Lesser Antilles, at the eastern end of the Caribbean Sea, between latitudes 12° and 16° N and longitudes 60° and 62° W. They include, from north to south, the English-speaking island of Dominica; the French département of Martinique; the English-speaking islands of Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent, and Grenada; and, between Saint Vincent and Grenada, the chain of small islands known as the Grenadines. Though near the general area, Trinidad and Tobago (at the south end of the group) and Barbados (just east) are usually not considered part of the Windward Islands. Dominica was formerly administered by the British government as part of the Leeward Islands, rather than the Windwards.

      The geology of the Windwards is volcanic, with craters, hot springs, and sulfuric vents found in the mountainous central ribs of the islands. On May 8, 1902, the eruption of Mount Pelée on Martinique was one of the most destructive in modern history, killing about 30,000 people. The climate of the Windwards is marine, and the extreme heat is greatly tempered by the steady trade winds and daily sea breezes. A dry season alternates with a wet season, with the eastern sides of the islands receiving more rainfall because of the prevailing northeasterly trade winds. Hurricanes are a threat from June to October.

      The population is predominantly black or of mixed ethnicity, with an admixture of East Indians, Chinese, Portuguese, French, and British.

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Universalium. 2010.