Wind. What is this phenomenon, how to measure the wind?
Wind is the term for the movement of air in a horizontal direction in relation to the Earth's surface. It is formed under the influence of various factors, such as pressure difference or temperature changes, among others. It is classified as one of the weather phenomena. What determines the strength of the wind? What types of wind do we know? How to determine the wind direction?
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1. What is wind?
Wind is the horizontal or almost horizontal movement of air. It arises as a result of a difference in terrain, pressure, or temperature changes.
Most often it goes from areas with higher pressure towards places with lower pressure - in this direction the wind blows. It is one of the ingredients of the weather.
It is worth noting that when determining the direction of the wind, meteorologists use different terminology - east wind will mean wind blowing from the east, but the term "eastern ocean current" will mean wind flowing east.
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2. Types of wind
We can distinguish several types of wind:
- constant - winds that do not change their direction throughout the year: trade winds, antipasat;
- seasonal (periodic) - wind changing direction in a daily or annual cycle: monsoon;
- variable (local) - wind changing its direction depending on local baric centers: monsoon, phenom, breeze;
- slope winds (mountain and valley) - desert, samum, harmattan.
3. How do we measure wind speed?
Wind speed is given in meters per second or kilometers per hour. Its measurements are based on anemometers, radars, scatmometers and meteorological probes. The weather forecast usually specifies the direction in which individual air masses move.
Wind speed is a variable that is highly variable, therefore meteorologists usually give its average value.
Average wind speed is calculated 10 minutes before the date of observation and given only in whole numbers. If the wind speed is less than 1 knot (0.5 m / s), it is said to be quiet.
The easiest method of measuring wind speed is to analyze the visible results of the wind's impact on the surface of the lithosphere. This is possible thanks to the Beaufort scale, developed by the Irish physicist and meteorologist Francis Beaufort.
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4. The use of wind
Wind is used to produce electricity, for which windmills, otherwise known as wind turbines, are used.
The force of the wind also allows the movement of sailing ships. Often, however, the wind can also be dangerous - as a wild, unbridled force of nature, it can pose a threat to humans.