Wind – Article Example
Wind Wind According to Pidwirny (2006), wind is air in motion from high to low pressure areas. The air flows more in the horizontal than vertical motion with a speed of up to 380 kilometers per hour. The development comes due to atmospheric pressure’s spatial differences on the Earth’s surface resulting from uneven absorption of solar radiation. Vertically, winds move to high-pressure areas from regions of low pressure (Pidwirny, 2006). Wind’s description draws from its speed/velocity and direction (from where it originates).
Without use of scale, velocity measurement can be by “Beaufort Wind Scale.” Beaufort Wind Scale uses a descriptive table from where one could observe (the wind’s effects on the environment), describe and record wind speed in miles km/h.
Compass direction of wind’s source determines its name. Thus, westerly is wind blowing from the west to east. Its speed is dependent on the gradient of atmospheric air pressure that exists between pressure systems- high and low. Change in pressure per unit distance (pressure gradient force) determines wind’s formation speed. The smaller the gradient, the slower the wind (Pidwirny, 2006).
The Coriolis force caused by rotation also acts upon moving air and other mobile objects. The influence of this force is that it opposes pressure gradient acceleration thereby changing the wind’s direction from straight to a deflected motion. The Northern Hemisphere experiences deflection to its right, while deflection in the southern hemisphere is to the left. Increased Coriolis wind speed results to more wind deflection due to more Coriolis force (Pidwirny, 2006). However, Coriolis force does not influence wind speed but direction. Other forces acting on wind include centripetal acceleration (flowing perpendicular to the wind) and frictional deceleration (force acting against the wind). There are three types of winds including Geostrophic Wind, Gradient Wind and Friction Layer Wind.
Pidwirny, M. (2006). "Forces Acting to Create Wind". Fundamentals of Physical Geography, 2nd Edition. May 22, 2014. http://www.physicalgeography.net/fundamentals/7n.html