What is wind? How wind is formed?

Windsurfing and kiteboarding are wind-powered water sports. Wind is the soul of sailing, but where does wind come from?

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

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

It is quite easy to understand how wind is formed. The atmosphere and its four layers rise more than 100 kilometres above the crust of the Earth.

In this aerial region - troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere and termosphere - there are several gases flowing around which, for example, help give the blue tone to our skies.

Wind is simply the result of the differences of pressure in the atmosphere. A baloon loses its air because the higher inside pressure finds less pressure on the outside and flows off.

Global surface winds: polar easterlies, westerlies and trade winds

There are three types of wind, when it comes to the duration of the blow. Short strong winds are usually called gusts. Termed squalls are intermediate strong winds and durable strong winds may be a typhoon, hurricane, storm, gale or breeze.

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 over the globe.

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

The windiest region in the world is Cape Farewell, in Greenland. Planes only flew over this Arctic spot, for the first time, in 2008, because of the strong blows that inhabit the place.

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 winds are knots.

If you want to measure wind speed, it is important to 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.