Where wind gusts come from

Where wind gusts come from


Wind gust — it’s a short acceleration of wind speed — 20-30 seconds. In this new lesson of the Windy.app Meteorological Textbook (WMT) and newsletter for better weather forecasting you will learn more about wind gust.

Why do wind gusts occur?

A wind gust can occur when there’s a barrier on the wind’s way, such as a building. The wind “surrounds” the object, the traction increases, and wind speed decreases. After moving past the object it increases sharply.

Moving past mountain passes or tunnels the same amount of air “squeezes” through the barrier increasing wind speed after that.

Wind gusts are stronger in the city than in an open area given the wind speed is the same.

Wind gusts (20-30 seconds) make it harder to estimate wind speed during storms and hurricanes, particularly during tropical cyclones. To estimate it in general, wind speed is measured during a certain period of time (5 minutes) and an average and maximum gust speed is fixed.

You can monitor the wind in real time on live wind map.


Text: Windy.app team

Cover photo: Unsplash

You will also find useful

How to read wind direction

What is Bora (wind) and how does it form

How to read wind rose

How to read a wind map like an expert

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