Wind: one of the most powerful forces in Nature | Photo: Shutterstock

The wind is one of the most powerful forces in Nature. It has a violent, destructive strength, it creates swells, and it produces energy. Check how, when, and where the wind is blowing.

Planet Earth has many famous winds, but they only exist and behave as they do due to:

  1. The sun's energy does not heat up the Poles and the Equator evenly;
  2. The Earth's rotation makes the ocean currents and the winds move from east to west;
  3. The Coriolis effect makes changes in wind direction;
  4. The irregularities of the Earth's surface alter the direction, speed, and temperature of the wind;

Technological advances now make it possible to have real-time, interactive, and sophisticated wind maps that instantly deliver easy-to-read variables such as wind speed, wind direction, and wind temperature.

The World Wind Map

Understanding how winds form - including their pattern, pressure, and temperature - allows us to make predictions and forecasts.

Winds are responsible for creating swells and waves but are also behind the most violent storms.

Traditionally, the wind is measured in knots. The Beaufort Scale is an empirical measure for identifying wind speed based on observed sea conditions.

The anemometer is a scientific device for accurately measuring wind intensity.

Winds are the result of pressure differences. An accurate, scientific wind map features several atmospheric variables, including:

  1. Isobars: circular lines which represent the pressure difference (gradients);
  2. Wind Barbs: small little "keys" which indicate wind direction and wind speed;
  3. Low-Pressure Center: designated by the letter "L";
  4. High-Pressure Center: designated by the letter "H";

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