Local Winds

There are several winds which develop in response of the local terrain. They are known as the local winds. They have a significant impact in the weather conditions of a place and psychology of the society. Some of the prominent local winds are:

Land and Sea breeze:

  • these winds develop as a consequence of the differential heating of the land and sea surfaces.
  • During the day, the land heats up faster and become warmer than the water off shore.
  • Because of this a low pressure area is created over the land surface and relatively high pressure area on sea surface.
  • This causes wind to blow from sea towards the land. This is called sea breeze.
  • On contrary during night, the land loses its heat relatively faster than the sea, hence a breeze starts flowing from land towards the sea surface. This is called land breeze.
  • These winds are periodic winds and regulate the temperature in coastal areas. The sea breeze has a soothing effect on the weather and increases the efficiency of the people. 
  • These winds are more pronounced in tropical and sub-tropical latitudes as differential heating is more here.

(for detail refer other article)

Image result for Local Winds, upsc


Mountain and Valley breeze:

  • The mountain and valley breeze also has direction reversal in every 12 hours like land and sea breeze.
  • Mountain air cools rapidly at night and valley air heats up rapidly during day.
  • Thus warm air raises upslope during the day and at night; the cooler air subsides down slope into the valley.

Katabatic winds (gravity drainage winds):

  • They are significant on a large scale than mountain and valley winds under certain conditions.
  • These winds are usually stronger than mountain or valley winds.
  • For these winds to blow, an elevated plateau or highland is essential, where layers at the surface cool, become denser and flow down slope.
  • The ferocious winds that can blow off the ice sheets of Antarctica and Greenland are Katabatic in nature.

Some of the local winds, their region of occurrence and characteristics- refer other article

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