Wind

By: Alex Leon

What is Wind?

Wind is air in motion. It is produced by the uneven heating of the earth’s surface by the sun. Since the earth’s surface is made of various land and water formations, it absorbs the sun’s radiation unevenly. Two factors are necessary to specify wind: speed and direction.

Land Breezes

A land breeze is a type of wind that blows from the land to the ocean. When there is a temperature difference between the land surface and the ocean, winds will move offshore. Although commonly associated with ocean shorelines, land breezes can also be experienced near any large body of water such as a lake.

Sea Breezes, Horse Latitudes, Doldrums

Local Winds

Local winds are on a much smaller than global wind, on a scale. Your particular home city might have winds that tend to come from the east during one season, and the west during another. Or it might be totally different. The pattern of typical winds you get in a local area is what we call a local wind. Usually they're on the scale of tens of miles to hundreds of miles. These winds can be cold or hot, dry or wet. They can be mild and safe, or violent and dangerous.

Global Winds

If you combine the Coriolis Effect with the uneven heating of Earth, a global wind pattern begins to emerge and take shape. These Global Winds are the dominant prevailing wind patterns that blow in a fairly constant, steady direction across our earth. Global winds are comprised of three previaling winds: Tradewinds, Westerlies, and Polar Easterlies.