Etesian Winds (Gr. from year), the name given by the ancients to the N.E. trade winds which blow for about six weeks during the summer throughout the countries adjacent to the Mediterranean, especially its eastern portion. On the sea they are called by the fishermen meltem, probably from mal temps, in reference to the fury with which they blow, and the dangerous weather which they create for their small craft. On land they are equally salutary to men, beasts, and birds, and likewise beneficial to vegetation, by moderating the violent heat of the weather during the season of the dog days. In the Levant they commence toward the middle of July about 9 in the morning, continuing only in the daytime. The sun at that season is powerfully heating the surface under the tropic of Cancer, and rarefying the atmosphere south of the Mediterranean. Currents of air are thus drawn in over the desert of Sahara; but though in their passage across the Mediterranean they must become charged with moisture, the clouds are dispersed as they pass the margin of the hot sands, and the vapor dissipated in the rarefied air is swept on, to be again collected together and precipitated in a cooler region.