What are the factors affecting wind?

The horizontal movement of air is called winds. Winds blow from high-pressure areas to low-pressure areas. The vertical movement of air is known as air current. Factors affecting the direction and speed of wind are

Factors Affecting the Direction and Speed of Wind

Temperature: When the temperature of a place increases, the atmospheric pressure decreases. It is because an increase in temperature results in heating the air. Warm air expands. The molecules of warm air become less dense and hence exert less pressure. On the contrary, a decrease in temperature makes the air cool and dense. Cold air sinks creating a high-pressure area in a region.

Coriolis Effect: The Earth rotates on an inclined axis. Because of the rotation, winds get deflected to their right in the Northern Hemisphere and to their south in the Southern Hemisphere.

Altitude: The atmospheric pressure decreases with the increase in altitude. Air is compressible. As the gravity of the Earth pulls the molecules and gases towards the ground, the lowest layer of air gets densest. This dense layer of air exerts the greatest pressure.

Water Vapour: Moist air exerts more pressure as it contains fewer amounts of nitrogen and oxygen. Dry air, on the other hand, exerts less pressure as it has more nitrogen and oxygen and hence is denser.

Rotation of the Earth: The rotation of the Earth causes the air at the poles to be pushed away towards the Equator. In theory, air should have been accumulated at the Equator creating a high-pressure belt. However, this does not happen. On the contrary, the air gets heated at the Equator, gets warmer, and rises to create a low-pressure area.

Also, Read

Pressure belts and types of winds

The distribution of atmospheric pressure across the latitudes is known as the global horizontal distribution of pressure. Read more

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