What Is La Niña?

Why Does The Wind Blow?

 Why Does The Wind Blow?

We’ve all wondered at some point why the wind blows. The simple answer is that temperature differences from uneven heating of gasses in the atmosphere cause diffusion that we feel as ‘wind’. Wind varies by location, some of the fastest winds happen out at sea, where temperatures are the most uneven, causing hurricanes or typhoons. 

Everywhere on Earth experiences wind of some sort. Wind is simply atmospheric gasses evening themselves out and moving around. We may feel a strong wind, or we may not feel the wind at all, but the atmosphere is always trying to become an even temperature. Depending on location, the wind may be cold or warm, often or not often, very fast or somewhat slow. 


Credit: Pixabay 

The main cause of wind is temperature. More specifically, it's the temperature difference. The gases that make up our atmosphere move as the temperatures change. When gases warm up the atoms and molecules move faster which makes them less dense and they rise. When air is colder, the molecules get slower and closer together and become more dense, causing them to sink. The sun warms up the air but is blocked by oceans, mountains, and other features,  which causes some places to be warmer than others. Because of this there are pockets of warm air and cold air.


Since gases density is different at different temperatures, that means you also get pockets with high pressure and pockets with low pressure. You might think that the warm air would lead to a higher pressure area, but actually the opposite is true. Because warm air rises, it leaves behind an area of low pressure behind it. Gases move from high-pressure areas to low-pressure areas. The larger the difference between the pressures, the faster the air will move from the high to the low pressure. Wind occurs when the gases move, in nature things always try to even out. It’s called diffusion. The wind you feel is the air quickly moving from different temperatures. 


Credit: Pixabay

Some places get stronger wind because they are near the Ocean which has a different temperature change rate than rock, so the temperature difference is stronger and more often. Places with lots of mountains also experience more wind due to shade from the mountains and uneven heating. 

Wind is simply the atmosphere evening itself out. Sometimes wind is very cold because the cold air is moving to a warmer area, other times wind is somewhat warm and is moving towards a colder area. Wind is somewhat predictable, but remember that the Earth is just trying to become an even temperature next time the wind starts to blow!