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Wind

Let the wind blow! Wind affects the world from a global scale all the way down to a personal scale. Trade winds, westerlies, and easterlies form as a result of greater heating of the earth at the equator. Our weather is caused by this uneven heating, in addition to day and night, and different landforms. When our weather is hot, wind itself can cool us down. When the temperatures are cool, the wind chill makes it feel colder. The wind will blow as long as the sun shines, making it a renewable resource for us. Just open a window to experience the cooling effects of a breeze. We appreciate wind for natural cooling, transportation, even entertainment and music. Wind turbines make use of wind for power. Wind can be fun when used for flying kites, wind surfing, kite boarding, or sailing a boat. Hang a wind chime and the wind will create music. Designers consider the many effects of wind in flags, kits, clothes, cars, bridges, tunnels, towers and many other things. Observe the power of wind.

Vocabulary

sea breeze: air moving off the sea onto the land

land breeze: lair moving from the land to the sea; land breezes occur at night when the land cools faster than the sea

trade winds: warm air movements towards the equator

westerlies:winds between 30 - 60 degrees latitude that appear to curve east

easterlies: cooler air masses above 60 degrees latitude that appear to curve west

wind chill: how temperature feels to the skin due to wind

Activity 1 Read the Wind

Nature tells us about wind speed. You don’t need a weatherman to let you know what the wind is doing right. Just look out your window or take a walk outside. Use natural clues to estimate wind speed. Do the clues change as the weather changes? Use the following link to learn the clues from nature. Natural Indicators Write down an estimated wind speed. To check how close you are, go to the following link and enter your location. Current Weather The more you observe, the more it will tell you.

Activity 2 What wind makes my weather?

Map the global winds using the following link. Global winds Now, using Google Earth, identify your latitude. Do you think your weather is most affected by trade winds, easterlies, or westerlies? Based on what you know about your region, what natural features likely affect your weather? Are there large bodies of water? Major landforms? Are those features affected the wind and therefore your weather?

Now select somewhere in the world that you would love to travel to and use Google Earth and World Wind to locate it. Repeat the same steps as above and speculate as to how natural land features and latitude affects the wind and weather in that region. Perhaps someday you can travel to that location and experience the weather for yourself. In the meantime, you can use the related links to learn more about weather in other regions.

Activity 3 Catch the Wind!

Make a toy for the wind! Any time is a good time to play with the wind. All you need is paper, a pin, scissors and a dowel or stick. Print or cut a pin wheel template from one of the following sources:

Pinwheel Instructions

Pinwheel Template

Make A Peace Pinwheel Movie

Make pinwheels for everyone in your family and all of your friends!

Activity 4 Draw a Wind Rose

Meteorologists have a number of tools that they can use to let us know how strong the wind blows and from what direction. Wind roses start with concentric circles. Each circle represents different wind frequencies starting from zero at the center and increasing with each outer circle. The ‘spokes’ radiating from the center show the percentage of time that wind blows from that particular direction and the typical speed range. Using the resources, check out the wind rose for your location. Become a wind rose specialist!

Review

  1. To measure wind speed you need special equipment

  2. Wind is caused by

  3. Wind is a free source of energy

  4. Wind affects my

  5. My weather is most directly affected by all listed below EXCEPT

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