Weather Wise Kids: Why does the wind change direction and speed?

Here is this week's weather wise kids question and answer.


Name: Peyton Kaylor

Question: Why does the wind change direction and speed?


Peyton… as you may know moving air is simply wind… and it is a part of the weather we experience all the time.

The air might be light one day… and the next… powerful gusts of air might knock down a tree or two. So lets first talk about why wind happens.

The main cause of wind is differences in temperature between different areas.

The sun warms up the air… but it does so unevenly around earth.

Because of this… some areas are warmer and some are colder.

At the earth’s surface… cold air is heavy… creating more air or higher pressure. Warm air is lighter… creating less air or lower pressure.

And the air moves from where you have more air to where you have less air… to try and create a balance.

So the air flows from high-pressure areas to low-pressure areas.

And the bigger the difference between these pressures… the faster the air will move.

So as cold and warm air move around the planet… winds in savannah… and any place on earth… change direction and speed.

For example… a wind shifting to the south often means warmer air is moving in and a wind shifting to the north often means cooler air is approaching.

Also… storm systems develop.  these are large low pressure areas. and as they move… the difference in pressure between these storms and high pressure systems surrounding them bring wind.

The wind changes direction and speed based on how the low and high pressure move and the strength of each system.



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