Weather Wise: Why is there wind - WRBL

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Weather Wise: Why is there wind

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This shows the flow of winds on a non-rotating planet, which we know earth is not one of those. This is called the Pressure Gradient Force. This shows the flow of winds on a non-rotating planet, which we know earth is not one of those. This is called the Pressure Gradient Force.
This is the same as the image above, but just shows that hot air tries to take over the cold air to the north. This is the same as the image above, but just shows that hot air tries to take over the cold air to the north.
Differential heating on a planetary scale is caused by the shape of our planet and the sun's energy. Differential heating on a planetary scale is caused by the shape of our planet and the sun's energy.
Wind. We’ve all experienced it in one way or another. But how does it come about? Why are some days windier than others? Well, in this week’s Weather Wise, we’ll answer all that and more!

Wind is caused by the differences in atmospheric pressure. High pressure has an excess of pressure, hence its name, while low pressure has a lack of pressure. Nature wants to things to be in balance, so it moves the higher pressure to the lower pressure to help “fill-in” the pressure difference. This is called Pressure Gradient Force or PGF for short. This movement of pressure is wind.

For example, think of something with a fairly high pressure like a tire. What happens when something punctures the tire or you stick a nail in it? It all rushes out of the tire. This is a small scale version of what happens across hundreds of miles.

You may be asking yourself, “But what causes the pressure differences!?” Well, that answer is a little easier. The pressure differences are caused by temperature differences, which are influenced globally by the shape of our planet, oblate spheroid, and the sun. The sun provides us with energy (see last week’s article) which heats our planet. However, our planet is not seeing the same amount of energy everywhere. The poles receive a lot less heat than the equator, hence why the poles are cold and the equator is hot. It’s this difference in heating, or differential heating if you want to get technical, that help create the pressure differences and thus the wind.

Now, there are a few other, smaller scale things that impact how the wind blows, which we’ll chat about at a later time!

Weather

Currently in Columbus as of

  • 79°(Feels like 84°)
  • Clear
  • Wind: ENE @ 3 mph
  • Barometer: 30.10 in.
  • Sunrise: 07:23
  • Sunset: 19:46
  • Humidity: 82%
  • UV Index: 10.00

Currently in Auburn as of

  • 73°(Feels like 73°)
  • Partly Cloudy
  • Wind: NE @ 6 mph
  • Barometer: 30.15 in.
  • Sunrise: 06:25
  • Sunset: 18:48
  • Humidity: 89%
  • UV Index: 10.00

Currently in Ft. Benning as of

  • 76°(Feels like 81°)
  • Partly Cloudy
  • Wind: SE @ 5 mph
  • Barometer: 30.09 in.
  • Sunrise: 07:23
  • Sunset: 19:45
  • Humidity: 96%
  • UV Index: 10.00

Currently in LaGrange as of

  • 77°(Feels like 84°)
  • Clear
  • Wind: SE @ 3 mph
  • Barometer: 30.12 in.
  • Sunrise: 07:24
  • Sunset: 19:47
  • Humidity: 98%
  • UV Index: 7.00

Currently in Thomaston as of

  • 73°(Feels like 73°)
  • Light Rain
  • Wind: ENE @ 5 mph
  • Barometer: 30.17 in.
  • Sunrise: 07:21
  • Sunset: 19:43
  • Humidity: 94%
  • UV Index: 10.00

Regional Conditions

Columbus
79°
Auburn
73°
Ft. Benning
76°
LaGrange
77°
Thomaston
73°

David Reese

David joined the First Alert Weather Team in October 2010 and can be seen Monday through Friday on News 3 This Morning and News 3 Midday. More>>

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