Wind Explained: The story you never knew.


On a week like the one that the midwest is having, and by that I mean…the amount of trash flying everywhere and people’s hair being ruined, I thought it would be a good idea to let you know a little bit about something you may not know nearly anything about. LET’S GO!

Wind is comprehensively defined as the flow of gases on a large scale. This is because you can have wind in space. “WIND IN SPACE? But there’s no air Eric. I’m not stupid…” Yes, I know you’re not. But this wind is different, it’s called Solar Wind and it is movement of gases or charged particles from the sun through space. Actually, the strongest winds in our solar system are not on Earth, but on Neptune and Saturn.Zzzzzzzzzzzzz”  Shut Up! This is actually really cool. But okay, it’s getting better.

Look, we see the effect of wind everywhere. From the backwards umbrella, to the lady chasing her grocery list across the parking lot, we know it’s there. But why is it so windy this week? Why has there been three straight days of wind, wind, wind!?! The answer is simple. The midwest is a playground for hot and cold air to move and go as they please. In other words, It’s Flat. There are a lack of natural barriers (mountains) to surface air flow. The warm air from the Gulf is drawn to cooler areas, which in this case is us. This is the main cause for the “angry big brother” of wind, The Tornado.

Wind can also be good. If you have ever taken a drive to Iowa or Illinois, you have noticed the Wind Turbines. Fields of them. Guys much smarter than me grew up playing with Pinwheels and later on thought to themselves, “I could make this into something great!” Wind energy has come a long way since it’s creation. Believe it or not, the earliest wind turbine was made in 1887 by a Danish man named Charles Brush. (not this turbine) He used the wind turbine to create electricity in his farm because other soures of energy were too expensive! Who knew turbines went back that far? Today, Wind Energy is seen as a source of the Green Energy movement spreading in hopes to reduced the other more harmful ways to make energy, such as fossile fuel, oil, and coal.

Over 600 years ago, wind patterns used to guide traders to their destinations. They were called the Trade Winds and they blew predominantly from the northeast in the Northern Hemisphere and from the southeast in the Southern Hemisphere. Pirates would often use these winds to their advantage to take ships by surprise and overrun them.

Wind is everywhere folks. We see it in Transportation, recreation, erosion, migration, climate control, and pollination. Spring is ALL about the wind. Without it, many plants would not be able to spread their seeds and continue growing int he years to come. And MUCH of our weather is completely dependent on how much wind there is!

So when you here that sound of wall panels shaking and wind whistling past your window, remember that wind plays a key role in our life on Earth, and without it, we would not be doing too great.

 

In case of high winds: http://www.weather.com/life/safety/tornado/article/What-to-Do-in-High-Winds_2012-01-24
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