Wind, Storm and Cyclones

What is Wind, Storm and Cyclones?

The flow of gasses or movement of bulk air on the surface of Earth is Wind. Various attributes of the wind include the types of forces that cause them, the regions in which they occur, and their effect, wind speed and spatial scale. Wind also occurs in outer space called the solar wind. It involves the movement of charged particles and gasses from the sun through space. Wind speed, the density of gas that’s causing the wind, wind energy are all different aspects of it. It has its strength and direction of flowing.

Wind Currents

An increase in wind speed accompanies the reduction in air pressure, which is a pressure exerted by the air around us. This is also followed by the movement of air from the high-pressure region to the low-pressure region. So, wind currents are air currents of considerable force moving mostly in the horizontal direction from an area of high pressure to areas of low pressure. Air becomes light on heating, because it expands, and to occupy more space due to expansion it rises up. Warm air is lighter than cool air which can be illustrated by the fact that smoke always rises.

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Storms are generated when a center of low pressure develops with the system of high pressure surrounding it. It is marked by high wind moving at great wind speed. The regions that lie close to the equator receive more heat from the sun. Due to this, the warm air rises. This suggests that the warm air from the equator moves in to take its place. On the other hand, the air at the poles is colder than the air at the equator. Thus, as the warmer air rises, the cooler air from the poles race in. Consequently, wind currents move from poles to warmer latitudes due to the uneven heating of the earth’s surface.

There are many types of storms like Dust storms, in which the visibility gets badly impacted as the wind picks up large quantities of sand, soil. Hailstorm occurs due to the precipitation of chunks of ice. Ice storm, that is one of the most dangerous forms of winter storms. It occurs when surface temperatures are below freezing, but a thick layer of above-freezing air remains aloft, rain can fall into the freezing layer and freeze upon impact into a glaze of ice. The snowstorm is characterized by heavy snowfall.  Thunderstorms, Cyclones, and so on.


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A thunderstorm is characterized by the presence of lightning along with thunder. Generally, it develops in hot and humid regions like India. High temperature creates strong and upward currents. These currents carry moisture, that is, water vapor along with them to higher altitudes. This is followed by the process of condensation and rain again. These pressure variations are accompanied by thunder, lightning, and strong winds.

Conversion of Thunderstorm to Cyclone

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When moisture changes to the liquid form of water, that is, water drops, it leads to the release of heat to the atmosphere. Thus, the heat released in this way warms the surrounding air and gives rise to a pressure drop. All of these consequences lead the air to rush in towards the center of the storm. This cycle creates large low-pressure systems with strong high-speed winds swirling around them. This is how the cyclone forms.


  • A cyclone is a huge mass of rotating air that has a speed of nearly 1015 km high in the air.

  • The center of the cyclone is calm and is known as the eye of the storm.

  • The eye of the storm mostly has a diameter ranging from 10 to 30 km.

  • Around the eye of the storm, lies a region of clouds of about 150 km. The speed of wind inside it is about 150-250 km/hr.

  • The speed of the wind decreases as it moves away from the eye of the storm.

  • Cyclones are also called Hurricanes or Typhoons.

Generation of Wind Currents as a Result of Unequal Heating of the Earth

There are two situations in which winds on Earth generate: 

  1. North-south winds are caused by uneven heating between the equator and the poles.

  • We know that the Earth is divided into circular lines called latitudes, which indicate a location's north-south position on the globe.

  • In addition, the equator is a latitude that is perpendicular to the Earth's rotational axis.

  • On Earth, the locations closest to the equator receive the most sunlight.

  • As a result, the air in these areas is often warm. As a result, warm air climbs above, while cold air from latitudes near the equator goes in that direction.

  • Similarly, chilly winds from the North and South poles travel towards the equator and neighboring latitudes, and wind circulation occurs on Earth.

  1. Uneven heating of land and water results in monsoon winds, which deliver rain to the earth.

  • During the summer, the land near the equator warms and its temperature remains higher than that of the oceans.

  • As a result, what is above the land rises, and cold air from the oceans travels towards it. These are known as monsoon winds.

  • Because these winds originate in the ocean, they take water with them. Similarly, during the winter season, winds migrate from the land to the oceans.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What are tornadoes?

A tornado is a furious spinning storm that resembles a dark funnel with a small end on land. These are known as water spouts and form over the sea. Tornadoes originate as a result of thunderstorms and are primarily created on land. These are extremely ferocious and can reach speeds of over 500 km/h, devastating everything in their path. These are not particularly frequent in India, but they do exist in Canada and the United States.

The majority of the tornadoes are weak. When warm air rises from the earth's surface, it whirls about, causing incredibly high-speed winds. These are significantly smaller than cyclones, ranging in size from a few meters to a few hundred meters, but their wind speeds can reach 500 km/h. Tornado funnels sweep up everything at their bases, including dust, trash, automobiles, trees, and even buildings.

2. How are Rains Caused?

When winds from the ocean and seas flow towards the land, they carry moisture along. This moisture in the clouds gets saturated after a point. Within the cloud, the water droplets condense onto one another. This type of condensation causes water droplets to grow. When the water droplets get too heavy that they cannot remain suspended anymore, they fall down in the form of rain.

3. What are the Safety Measures if a Cyclone Ensues?

  • Avoid taking refuge under isolated trees.

  • If in a forest, seek shelter under a small tree and do not lie on the ground

  • Do not try taking cover under an umbrella

  • Avoid sitting near metal sheds or open garages

  • If in water, rush out and go inside a building or at a safe place.

4.  What is the importance of water pressure?

The following are some examples of the significance of air pressure:

  • It generates wind. The wind on Earth is caused by a difference in atmospheric pressure.

  • It affects the weather. Air movement, or the downward or upward movement of air produced by pressure differences, causes cloudy and clear skies, bringing rain or excellent weather.

  • Forecasting the weather Changes in air pressure provide crucial information for weather forecasting. A barometer is a device that measures air pressure.

5. What are thunderstorms?

When air moves slowly (low speed), it is called a breeze; when it moves quickly (high speed), it is called a storm. When the pressure of the airdrops, it suggests the probability of a storm.

Thunderstorms are caused by the rapid movement of falling water combined with rising heated air, resulting in sound, lightning, heavy rain, and Very strong wind. It occurs in hot, humid tropical areas such as India and is followed by torrential rains or hail. Thunderstorms are caused by black clouds that originate at relatively low altitudes in the atmosphere. In the tropics, the air warms up and rises, while humidity produces water vapor for the development of clouds.

As a result, it may be stated that for a thunderstorm to form, moisture, swiftly rising warm air, and a sea breeze or mountains are required.

6. What are the precautions one should take during a thunderstorm?

Following are the precautions that one should take during a thunderstorm :

  • During a thunderstorm, it is not advisable to seek cover behind a solitary tree. If you are near a forest, you can seek refuge under a tiny tree.

  • During a thunderstorm, It is not appropriate to lie on the ground.

  • An umbrella with a metallic rod should not be used or carried.

  • At that moment, people should avoid going near windows and doors.

  • It is not advisable to seek refuge in an open garage, metal shed, or storage shed.

  • It is best to take refuge in a car awaiting a bus.

  • During a thunderstorm, It is not advisable to remain in the water. People should attempt to enter a structure as soon as feasible.

7. Where can I find notes and questions on Wind, storms, and cyclones?

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