Types of Wind, Classification of Wind, Planetary Winds, Trade Winds (For CBSE, ICSE, IAS, NET, NRA 2022)

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Types of Wind

  • Wind in simple terms is nothing but moving air.
  • You all enjoy wind rustling through the leaves in your garden.
  • It has also expanded the range of transport and has provided a power source in terms of mechanical energy for the generation of electricity in windmills and recreation purposes in hot air balloons.
  • Wind power was also used in voyages by sailors to direct their ships.
  • When the winds are strong, they lead to the destruction of life and property in the form of cyclones and storms, causing forest fires, landslides etc.

Classification of Wind

Classification of Wind


  • Planetary winds
  • Trade winds
  • The westerlies
  • Local winds
  • Periodic winds
    • Monsoon winds
    • Land breeze
    • Sea breeze
    • Mountain and valley breeze

Planetary Winds

Planetary Winds
  • It comprises winds distributed throughout the lower atmosphere.
  • Planetary winds occur due to temperature and pressure variance throughout the world.
  • The winds blow regularly throughout the year confined within latitudinal belts, mainly in north-east and south-east directions or from high-pressure polar-regions to low-pressure regions.

Trade Winds

Trade Winds
  • These winds are also known as tropical easterlies and blow from the right in Northern hemisphere and to the left in the Southern hemisphere due to Coriolis effect and Ferrel՚s law. Winds blowing from the Subtropical High-Pressure Belt or horse latitudes towards the Equatorial Low-Pressure Belt or the ITCZ are the trade winds.
  • They start blowing from the sub-tropical high-pressure areas towards the equatorial low-pressure belt.
  • In the Northern Hemisphere, the trade winds blow from the northeast and are known as the Northeast Trade Winds; in the Southern Hemisphere, the winds blow from the southeast and are called the Southeast Trade Winds.
  • In the Northern hemisphere, they blow as northeastern trades and in the Southern hemisphere, they blow as southeastern trades.
  • The weather conditions throughout the tropical zone remain more or less uniform. This belt is subjected to seasonal variation due to northward and southward movement of sun.

The Westerlies

  • These winds are also known as Shrieking Sixties, Furious Fifties, and Roaring Forties.
  • The Westerlies are the prevailing winds in the middle latitudes between and latitude, blowing from the high-pressure area in the Sub Tropical High-Pressure Belt i.e.. , horse latitudes towards the sub polar low-pressure belt.
  • They blow from the subtropical high-pressure belts towards sub-polar low-pressure belts. The westerlies of Southern hemisphere are stronger and constant than the westerlies of Northern hemisphere.

Periodic Winds

Following are the types of periodic winds:

  • Monsoon winds: The temperature difference created due to the Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal on one side and the Himalayan wall on the other forms the basis of monsoons in the Indian subcontinent.
  • Land breeze: These winds blow from land to sea, carrying no moisture but dry and warm.
  • Sea breeze: These winds blow from sea to land, carrying some moisture.
  • Mountain and valley breeze: Valley breeze is the hot air blowing from the valley which flows up to the slopes of mountain slopes. While mountain breeze is the reverse of the valley breeze that is the cold air from the mountain flow towards the valley.

Local Winds

  • The local winds include the sea and the land breeze created due to the pressure difference between the air over the sea and the land regions.
  • The winds blowing in the Arctic and the Antarctic latitudes are known as the Polar Winds. They have been termed the ‘Polar Easterlies,’ as they blow from the Polar High-Pressure belt towards the Sub-Polar Low-Pressure Belts.
  • Loo is the local winds that blow in the northern part of India.

How is Wind Measured?

  • To measure these two parameters two different devices are used and they are as follows:
    • Anemometers
    • Wind vanes

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