How does the wind affect daily life?

Jump to

Key information

The wind can affect our daily lives in lots of different ways.

In this article you can find out:

  • The advantages and disadvantages of wind
  • How the wind can be used to create energy
  • Extreme windy weather conditions like gales and tornadoes

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 find out how the wind affects our lives and the world around us.

How does the wind affect our lives?

Advantages

  • Breezy weather is good for flying kites and hanging washing outside to dry.
  • Wind moves heat and moisture away from our bodies. We call this wind chill factor and it can keep us cool on hot days.
  • Wind is also important in nature. It helps some plants spread by blowing their seeds to new ground.
  • It blows away fog and pollution in cities, which makes it easier for us to see and healthier to breathe.
  • We can generate electricity using wind turbines.

Disadvantages

  • Strong winds can affect how we travel. can make driving difficult, especially for lorries and buses. Planes, ferries and trains won't set off in windy weather because strong winds make it unsafe to travel.
  • Wind chill factor can make us lose body heat faster so we feel even colder on cold days.
  • Wind chill can damage plants and make their leaves dry up.
  • High winds can put migrating birds off course or tire them out.
  • can be powerful enough to bring down roof tiles and tree branches.
Sycamore seeds

Scattering seeds

Sycamore seeds are shaped like little helicopters. They are blown by the wind then they fall on the ground where they can grow into a new tree.

1 of 3

Tornadoes

  • Some of the strongest winds recorded on Earth are found in tornadoes.
  • A tornado is a rapidly spinning column of air that forms between storm clouds and the ground.
  • They can cause lots of damage by blowing down buildings and trees.
  • The USA has the most tornadoes in the world.
  • In the UK, we get about 30-50 tornadoes each year but they are usually very small and not destructive.
Tornado over the plains of Kansas, USA. (World History Archive / Alamy Stock Photo)

How to measure wind speed

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

  • Why it is important to measure wind speed
  • How wind speed is measured
  • What an anemometer is

  • wind chill factor - When wind blows around us, it can make us feel colder than the actual air temperature. This is because the wind carries heat and moisture away from our bodies.
  • wind turbines - Huge windmills with blades that rotate to spin a generator and make electricity.
  • gust - A sudden strong blast of wind that blows for a short time.
  • gales - Very strong wind.
  • tornado - A kind of storm where the wind rotates in a column between the clouds and the ground.

Test your knowledge of wind with this short multiple choice quiz.

Design a symmetrical kite.

Light wind is great for flying kites. Try creating your own kite for a windy day. Experiment with colours and patterns!

Remember...

A 2D shape is symmetrical if a line can be drawn through it so that either side of the line looks exactly the same.