Anna Answers: Why are we seeing strong winds?

Weather Wisdom

Question: Why are we seeing strong winds?

Answer: For a short answer, the wind is created by differences in atmospheric pressure. In chemistry, it is known that gasses move from areas of high pressure to low pressure. This is true for the atmosphere! If the pressure difference is larger, the faster it will move from higher to lower. The air moving from the higher to lower pressure is what we know as the wind.

An example you might be able to picture better is dealing with pressure in cans. Air pressure is always trying to reach a balance. The wind is formed in an attempt to balance differences in air pressure. For our example, the outside and inside of a can. When the pressure is equal on the outside and inside of a can, the wind stops. The greater the difference in pressure the stronger the wind.

That is the case with the atmosphere too and high and low-pressure systems. The stronger the high or low-pressure system and the greater the difference in pressure the stronger the wind. Right now at our surface set up, we have a strong low pressure and high-pressure system and the wind is strong in an attempt to equalize the pressures.

This is a simplified answer to why we are seeing the strong winds; if you want to learn more about the topic you can read more about the pressure gradient force.

Have a weather question you have always wondered about? Message me on social media: Facebook (Anna Meyers), Twitter (18StormAnna), and Instagram (Anna.weather), or email me at AnnaMeyers@WETMTV.com and you might be featured on the next weekly Anna Answers.

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