CENTRAL NEW YORK (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – The wind has really been packing a punch here in CNY recently with gusts of up to 50 mph and wind advisories across much of the state earlier this week. Though what exactly causes wind? Well, it starts with something you might not suspect, pressure.
The pressure within our atmosphere changes constantly and meteorologists keep track of it to determine what the weather will be. We commonly use phrases like “high pressure system” and “low pressure system” to talk about what weather we are currently experiencing or about to experience. A low pressure system is exactly what it sounds like, an area of lower pressure.
It spins counterclockwise in the northern hemisphere and commonly brings gloomy, gray, and rainy/snowy weather. A high pressure system is an area of higher pressure which spins clockwise in the northern hemisphere and commonly brings sunny, drier weather.
Here’s where the magic happens. Air likes to flow from higher pressure to lower pressure, just like if you get on a bus with a bunch of people, you’d want to move to a spot where it’s less crowded, not where everyone is bunched up. The air physically moving from higher to lower pressures is what wind really is, and the stronger the difference in pressure, the stronger the wind will be.