What is wind?

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Whether it's blowing a gale or just a gentle breeze, we've all felt the wind.

In this article you can find out:

  • Where wind comes from
  • What Earth's atmosphere is
  • The impact of wind direction
  • High and low air pressure

This resource is suitable for Weather topics for P2, P3, P4, P5, P6 and P7 (First and Second Level Curriculum for Excellence).

Watch this video to learn about wind.

Where does wind come from?

  1. The Earth has a layer of air around it called the atmosphere.
  2. The atmosphere isn't evenly spread.
  3. In some places the air squeezes together over the ground. We call this high pressure.
  4. In other places there is less air that is more spread out. This makes the atmosphere thinner. We call this low pressure.
  5. The air moves from places with high pressure to places with low pressure. We call this moving air wind.

Windy weather in pictures

Wind direction

A weather vane shows wind direction. The top turns to face the wind. You can compare this with the points of the compass, N for north, E for east, W for west and S for south. The cockerel on this weather vane shows the wind is coming from the south.

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How to measure wind direction

With help from BBC Weather's Kawser Quamer, let's find out:

  • Why it is important to measure wind direction
  • How wind direction is measured

  • wind - Air which moves in a particular direction.
  • atmosphere - A layer of air which surrounds the Earth.
  • northerlies - Cold winds which come from the Arctic.
  • southerlies - Warm winds which bring air from southern Europe and Africa.
  • westerlies - Moist winds which bring rain from the Atlantic.
  • easterlies - Winds from Eastern Europe which bring drier air.
  • friction - A force that slows down objects that rub up against each other.

Try this short multiple choice quiz to test your knowledge of wind

Write a poem about a windy day

Now you know a lot more about wind, why not try writing a poem about a windy day? Have a look at this video to get you started.

Windy Day Poems