What is wind? How wind is formed?

Windsurfing and kiteboarding are wind-powered water sports. Wind is the soul of every sport or endeavor that ever raised a sail, but where does it come from?

All sailing crafts depend on the strength and direction of the wind. Sails and kites are driven its power.

Wind is also responsible for the creation of waves. As wind touches the surface of the oceans, it helps the formation of swell, sometimes very far away from continental shores.

It is quite easy to understand how wind is formed. The four layers of the atmosphere - troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere and thermosphere - hover more than 100 kilometers above the crust of the Earth.

In this aerial region there are several gases flowing around. All are carefully balanced and each serves a purpose; for example, Nitrogen, which gives us the blue tone of our skies.

Wind is simply the result of differences in pressure in this atmosphere.

Global surface winds: polar easterlies, westerlies and trade winds

There are three types of wind; when it comes to duration. Short, strong winds are usually called gusts. Termed squalls are intermediate strong winds. Durable, long, strong winds may be those of typhoons, hurricanes, storms, gales or breezes.

Physical forces such as the rotation of the Earth, Coriolis effect, geomorphology of the planet's surface, solar energy and gravity are responsible for the distribution of multiple wind systems all over the globe.

The strongest wind gust ever was registered at the automatic weather station of Barrow Island, Australia, on the 10th April 1996. The local anemometer (mounted 10 meters above sea level) marked 408 km/h (220 knots, 253 mph).

The windiest region in the world is Cape Farewell, Greenland. Planes only flew over this Arctic spot for the first time in 2008; previously, strong winds had prevented such a flight.

Global mean wind speed: wind blows differently on planet Earth

Wind can blow anywhere, anytime and in any direction. The official measurement format for grading the power of wind is knots.

If you want to measure wind speed, you should use an accurate digital anemometer. There are several portable anemometers in the market. Take a look at the best windsurfing and kiteboarding anemometers.

Learn how waves are formed.
Check the Wind Speed and Direction and Forecast for your region.
Discover the windiest places on Planet Earth.
Know the empirical measure that relates wind speed to observed conditions at sea.