What is the wind?

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What is the wind?

Nature is filled with many different phenomena, interesting, beautiful and even frightening. We will devote this article to such a phenomenon as the wind. The wind cannot be seen, but the effects of this natural phenomenon may be more than obvious.

First, let's talk about what the wind is. Wind is the horizontal movement of air masses above the surface of land or water.

Why is the wind blowing?

The movement of air masses due to the difference in temperature and atmospheric pressure in different areas of the area. So, for example, warm and accordingly lighter air masses rise, forming a low pressure area, into which air tends from the area where the pressure is higher. The wind always moves away from a high pressure area to a low atmospheric pressure area.

For more information about the causes of winds, you will find out by reading the article: Why the wind blows.

Types of winds

Earthly winds are classified according to various criteria, depending on the strength (speed), duration and direction.

  • Wind strength is determined by the Beaufort scale, which divides winds into 18 varieties - from calm to storm and hurricane. Wind speed is measured at knots or meters per second and is an average value (in most countries, the average speed measured over 10 minutes is averaged). Wind speed is measured using an anemometer (anemometer) or probes.
  • Short winds lasting a few seconds are called gusts. Wind of medium duration is called a squall. The name of the long winds depends on their strength.
  • In meteorology, the direction of the wind is considered to be the direction of the wind. For example: westerly, southeastern winds, etc. To determine the direction of the wind is used the device - vane.

In addition to the main signs of the wind, they are also divided into:

  • Global. There are two types of wind that provide the general circulation of the Earth’s atmosphere: trade winds and monsoons. In this case, the cause of the monsoon is a seasonal change in temperature, in the winter they blow from the land, in the summer from the ocean, and are long winds. The trade winds are constantly blowing between the tropics of the wind, one of the reasons for their occurrence is the daily rotation of the Earth and the resulting Coriolis force.
  • Local (prevailing) - blowing in certain types of terrain.For example, boron is a local valley-mountain wind and is characteristic of mountain landscapes.

Another article of our site is also devoted to different types of winds: What are the winds.

The role of wind in nature and civilization

The importance of winds in the life of nature and the planet as a whole can not be overestimated: they participate in the formation of the relief and climate of the planet; form sand dunes, carrying the sand of the desert; help to expand the habitats of plants, transferring their seeds, and so on.

Currently, the winds lead to a worsening of human influence on nature. So, thanks to the winds, forest fires spread with great speed, which complicates their localization and extinguishing.

Man has long enjoyed the power of the winds:

  • In travels and discoveries (sailing, balloons);
  • As a source of clean energy;
  • For entertainment (paragliding, windsurfing, kitesurfing, kites, etc.)

In addition to the positive impact on the life and development of human society, the wind has often led to tragedies. So, strong winds can destroy both detached dilapidated buildings, and entire settlements.To determine the possible damage from the wind, there is a special scale of Saffir-Simpson hurricanes.