Types of winds and how to identify them

Wind is an important element that influences many aspects of the daily life of living beings. There is a direct relationship between wind and meteorological phenomena, the force of the wind manages to drive the rain-laden clouds and intervenes in the increase in temperature.

Wind can be described as one of the processes of the atmosphere, which seeks to maintain the balance between the natural elements of the planet. Here are some interesting facts about the wind and its types.

What is the wind?

Wind is a current of air that is generated, moves and causes significant effects in the Earth’s atmosphere. In addition, wind is a meteorological phenomenon that occurs as a result of the movements of the earth (rotation and translation).

If the right atmospheric conditions are combined, the strength and speed of the wind would increase so much that it could become a threat to human life.

Types of winds

The movement of an air mass from one area to another governs the classification of the various types of wind, which are determined by the size of the route they make. For this reason they are divided into 3 large groups: planetary, regional and local.

Planetary Winds

They are generated as a result of the rotational movement of our planet, this type of wind circulates moving over large areas of the earth’s surface, where they are characterized by maintaining a constant direction, which contributes to the transport of a large amount of heat energy.

The planetary winds are grouped into a classification according to their specific characteristics:

Trade winds

The area where the trade winds move goes from the tropics to Ecuador as part of their journey, which is so extensive that it covers a large part of the earth’s surface, they pass over large bodies of water where they are loaded and then returned to the land in abundant rains.

Usually the trade winds move steadily in a northwesterly or southwesterly direction.

Contralisian Winds

In a similar way to the trade winds, they travel from the tropics but with a relevant difference, the contralysians move in the direction of the cold polar circles.

They are warm type winds, loaded with humidity that will transform into abundant rains.

Circumpolar winds

They are generated at the poles of the planet, towards the polar circles; They are very cold winds, the product of air currents that originate from the inclination of the Earth’s axis.

Regional Winds

These are winds whose most outstanding characteristic is that their direction is not permanent, that is to say that it changes according to the seasons of the year; They can also change periodically at some point in the day. Regional winds are the element that most affects the climate conditions of a territory.


They are produced depending on the place where they are generated, they can be oceanic as in the coasts or continental typical of the most remote regions, which change direction day and night.


They originate in areas of low atmospheric pressure, which attracts winds with hotter air masses, which rise because they encounter a temperature that is colder in their environment. All of these conditions cause swirling winds to occur.


They are characteristic of areas where atmospheric pressure is high. Some anticyclones produce a frigid wind, but they do not cause bad weather, they usually do not bring precipitation but they do have an effect on the ocean currents.


They originate when in the summer time the wind moves from south to north, loaded with humidity and generating large amounts of rain. In winter they are dry and cold.

Local Winds

They occur according to the geographical characteristics of a specific region, they are governed by the amount of moisture they collect from the water masses that they cross.

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