All About Wind
Get facts about local winds, global winds, and more!
About Local Winds.
What are local winds?
- Local winds consist of 2 types of breezes (Sea and Land breezes). They usually move short distances and can blow in any direction.
What Causes local winds?
- Local winds are caused because of the unequal heating of the earth. For example, you may know that land cools and heats quicker than water, and water takes a long time to heat up or cool. When you go to the beach, the beach's sand is real warm in the morning and real cool during the nighttime. The beach's water is really cold at day and really warm at night, because it is in fact warmer than the sand.
What is a Land Breeze?
- A land breeze is a breeze that is when the warm air rises above the sea while the land is really cool. When you go out during the night, you will feel a warm breeze, because of a land breeze, which is when warm air from the sea actually blows toward you, and the land is really cold. The picture with the moon and the dark sky is supposed to represent the night time, and the diagram represents the process of a land breeze.
What is a Sea Breeze?
- When a sea breeze occurs, the process flips around. The land has warm air over it while the sea is much cooler. You probably know that when you go to the beach, that you feel a nice cool breeze on a hot summer morning, and that is because of a sea breeze. A sea breeze is the complete opposite as a land breeze. The picture that has a daytime with a blue sky has a diagram which shows the process of a sea breeze.
About Global Winds.
What are Global Winds?
- Global winds are winds that travel over a long distance, unlike the local winds. They are caused by the different pressure belts and the Coriolis effect.
How are Global Winds Created?
- Global winds are caused by the combination of the types of pressure belts, and also the Coriolis Effect. Wind blows from the poles, but since the earth spins on it's axis, the wind from the poles go in a slanted swirl toward the equator, so there is almost no wind on the equator.
- The doldrums are located along the equator and no winds occur on this pressure belt. Because of warm air rising, this pressure belt creates low pressure. Countries along the equator, like Ecuador, Singapore, Indonesia, and Kenya are countries that contain almost no wind, because of the warm air rising and the low pressure. The picture below shows the doldrums.
About Prevailing Westerlies, Polar Easterlies, and Trade Winds.
- Winds between 30 and 60 degrees latitude that flow towards the poles that carry moist air over the USA. They blow from west to east.
2. Polar Easterlies
- Wind belts that extend from the poles to 60 degrees latitude that forms cold sinking air moving the poles creating much colder temperature.
- Winds that blow from 30 degrees to almost the equator. This is called the trade winds because the early sailors used this path to trade goods, and sailors took the path because it was often windy.