Europe lies mainly in the temperate climate zones, being subjected to prevailing westerlies.
The climate is milder in comparison to other areas of the same latitude around the globe. This is due to the Gulf Stream. The Gulf Stream is nicknamed "Europe's central heating", because it makes Europe's climate warmer and wetter than it would otherwise be. The Gulf Stream does not only carry warm water to Europe's coast but also warms up the prevailing westerly winds that blow across the continent from the Atlantic Ocean.