How Wind Occurs

Strongest Wind Event Of The Season' Prompts Multiple Santa Clarita Weather  Alerts

Wind is something we have all experienced whether it be slight breezes or strong gusts. Most people believe it to be air moving quickly, which isn’t wrong. But to be more precise, it is air molecules that are travelling quickly and colliding with each other. When the air molecules collide into you, it exerts a force called air pressure. 

Air pressure is defined as the force exerted on a surface by the air above it as gravity pulls it to earth. The greater the difference in air pressure means the greater the force of the wind.

But how does this difference in air pressure even happen on earth?

Green River Lakes Wind River Range - Alan Majchrowicz Photography

As the sun heats the earth, different regions get more heated than oters. An example of this would be land heating up more than oceans. As the hot air rises to the top, the cooler air left behind moves to fill this gap which the hot air left. This motion of air is what forms wind. The levels of wind vary incredibly as it won’t always be either an incredibly strong wind or a weak one. A spectrum from 1 to 10 percent in air pressure difference generally outputs more common levels of wind-1% being a slight breeze and 10% being a strong gust.

Tornadoes are also produced by wind. Tornadoes occur when hot air collides with colder air. As the warm air rises, it pushes up the cold air. The warm air then pushes through the cold air which creates an updraft. After multiple repetition of this step, the updraft begins to rotate forming a tornado. Tornadoes are most common in the central region of the US. This is because cool Arctic Air and warm air from the Gulf of Mexico collide at this particular region. Other regions with high tornado rates are Argentina and Bangladesh.

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