Wind Facts



  • Wind is moving air. Strong winds are fast-moving air; gentle breezes are air that moves slowly.
  • Air moves because the Sun warms some places more than others, creating differences in air pressure.
  • Warmth makes air expand and rise, lowering air pressure. Cold makes air heavier, raising pressure.
  • Winds blow from areas of high pressure to areas of low pressure, which are called lows.
  • The sharper the pressure difference the stronger the winds blow.
  • In the Northern Hemisphere, winds spiral in a clockwise direction out of highs, and anticlockwise into lows. In the Southern Hemisphere, the reverse is true.
  • A prevailing wind is a wind that blows frequently from the same direction. Winds are named by the direction they blow from. For instance a westerly wind blows from the west.
  • In the tropics the prevailing winds are warm, dry winds. They blow from the northeast and the southeast towards the Equator.
  • In the mid-latitudes the prevailing winds are warm, moist westerlies.
  • The world’s windiest place is George V in Antarctica, where 320 km/h winds are usual.
  • The more of the Sun’s energy there is in the air, the windier it is. This is why the strongest winds may blow in the warm tropics. 339 V Energy from the wind is converted to electricity by wind turbines.