Why Does the Wind Blow?

October 9, 2009

We feel wind every day, but do you really know what it is or how it is caused? 

Wind is air whose movement is caused by the sun. When the Earth spins on its axis, its tilt causes the sun to hit parts of the globe providing direct sunlight while other parts of the Earth receive indirect sunlight. The parts of the Earth that receive direct sunlight heat up. This warms the atmosphere and makes the warm air rise. When warm air rises, cooler air fills in underneath. Eventually the warm air cools off and sinks backs down to Earth's surface. The warm air moving up and down and the cool air filling in is the movement that causes wind. 

If you think you have never heard of warm and cold air, think about the weather report and your lobal meteorologist talking about high and low pressure systems. Pressure systems are just the fancy terms that describe warm and cool air. A high pressure system refers to the warm air while the low pressure is the cool air that moves in underneath.

Now go outside to feel the wind on your face and relish in the fact that you now know that it comes courtesy of those high and low pressure systems!

From the Parents

Similar Articles

  • How Do Magnets Work?

    Eliza Clark - How Do Things Work?

    The funny thing about preschoolers and all of their questions is that often they are not really looking for the kinds of answers we think we are supposed to give. They're not so keen on long explanations and complicated terminology. What the... read more

  • How Do Birds Fly?

    Angie McDonald - How Do Things Work?

    How do birds fly? is a classic question. And one that, when asked by a child, stumps many parents. It's tempting to answer: because they have wings! And feathers! But what if your child wants a more informative answer? What if your child wants to kno... read more

The Savvy Library

From the educational to the whimsical, our Savvy editors help you explore your world. You can search our 1969 articles by keyword, subject, or date.

Notable Selection

Below you'll find some of the more popular selections from the Savvy Library: