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Wind System

  • Air in motion is known as wind. Wind plays a significant role in determining the weather system of a given region.
  • Because of the rotation of the Earth, wind deflects to the right in the Northern Hemisphere and left in the Southern Hemisphere. The phenomena first reported by Coriolis and hence it is known as Coriolis Force.
To read the wind direction, weather vanes are used; however, at the airport, windsocks are used 

Anemometer is used to measure the wind speed.

Types of Winds

  • Winds normally are categorized as −
    • Primary Winds: a wind from the direction that is predominant . It is also known as Prevailing Winds and Planetary Winds.
    • Secondary winds: Seasonal winds are movements of air repetitively and predictably driven by changes in large-scale weather patterns. It is also known as Periodic Winds and Seasonal Winds.
    • Local Winds: It is originated because of the local temperature and/or pressure difference.
  • Major Planetary Winds (as shown in the following image) are −
    • Polar Easterlies
    • Westerlies (Mid-latitude)
    • Trade Winds (Tropics)


  • Seasonal or Periodic Winds blow periodically i.e. for a specific period. For example, Monsoons (as shown in the following image).
  • Local Winds, which are originated largely because of the temperature differences are a localized phenomenon. The following map shows the major local winds of the world −
Local WindsRegion/Location
ChinookCanada & USA (Rockies Mountain Region)
Santa AnasCalifornia (USA)
PamperoArgentina (South America)
ZondaArgentina (South America)
NorteMexico (Central America)
PapagayoMexico (Central America)
FoehnSwitzerland (Alps Region)
SalanoSouth Spain
MistralFrance
TramontanaNorth Italy
LevantSouth France
HelmEngland
EtesianGreece
BergSouth Africa
SiroccoSahara Region (North Africa)
KhamsinEgypt
GibliTunisia
Harmattan (also known as Doctor Wind)West Africa
BoraSouth & South Eastern Europe
LooNorthern India & Pakistan
SimoonArabia
Buran (also known as Purga)East Asia
KaraburanCentral Asia
BrickfielderVictoria (Australia)
NorwesterNew Zealand