NWDInterestingHow Can You Define Gust? All Different Wind Types And Their Relation To Thunderstorms

How Can You Define Gust? All Different Wind Types And Their Relation To Thunderstorms

gust of wind

There are many elements of mother nature that occur in our daily lives, from rainfall to thunder and gusts of wind. We experience them but do we really know why and how they occur? The wind itself is one of the most interesting elements of nature and the environment and is often misunderstood and unacknowledge but is an extremely powerful force. A gust of wind is also a large indicator for many things that the planet will experience after that fact and whether we know it or not it is important to understand this element. The wind is a factor that varies in all different amounts, speeds and strengths, and affects many elements of our daily lives as well as the entire structure and ecosystems of our planet.

What Is Gust Wind?

Wind, although mostly seen and blowing of air, actually consists of a variety of different categories within it. Each of these defines the type of wind, its aim, and why it occurs. To define gust wind one would say that is a slight increase in the speed of the wind. A wind gust usually increases only for a brief period of time, lastly roughly about 20 seconds. This gust of air occurs as a result of wind surpassing obstacles as it is moving through the air. This could be because of things such as trees and buildings or anything that causes turbulence or friction of some sort.

What Is A Gust Front?

what is a gust front

The gust front definition explains a gust front as an outflow boundary. Unlike a wind gust, a gust front implies slightly more dangerous as opposed to an increase in wind speed for a brief period of time. A gust front is a series of dangerously gusty winds, in other words, multiple gusts wind one after another. A gust front usually occurs when both moisture, unstable air and warm air mix together, this is also usually a sign for a thunderstorm or may even occur during such a storm. This is because warm air rises, as it does so it will bump into the sinking cold air or possibly brush alongside mountains or cliffs. The rising of this warm air will also collect any water vapor along with it, cooling as it gets higher, eventually condensing into a liquid form, which will then develop into a cloud and eventually a good old thunderstorm. Thus the gust front occurs as a result of an incoming thunderstorm and because they are constantly feeding the cloud they can be quite strong and very dangerous, adding to an existing storm and acting as a trigger for new storms.

Wind Gust Vs Wind Speed 

There is a difference between strong gusty winds and the speed of wind in general and although both directly link with one another they are not always leading to the same outcome. In general, the speed of the wind will increase and decrease depending on a variety of factors such as temperature, humidity, and obstacles in its path. In calling for a wind to be classed as a wind gust there has to be a brief increase of over 18mph and 10mph faster than the average ongoing wind at that moment. The speed of the wind as well as how long that increase in speed lasts ultimately determines the strength of such wind and the severity of damage it can cause.

Thunderstorm Fronts 

wind gust vs wind speed

A storm gust is indicative of an incoming or ongoing storm. The wind strength and speed will show the severity of that storm. Blowing dust moving outward at the ground below a thunderstorm could indicate a tornado occurring. This is because the gusts of wind are pulling against one another, heading in different directions from the central source, eventually creating a circular gust that is one of the most powerful in the world. A tornado is one of the most dangerous outcomes of wind and is directly associated with thunderstorms that produce very little rain. Monitoring gusts as they occur is one of the greatest ways to predict larger and more dramatic storms. This is because they are directly linked to storms and are essentially a warning signal for what’s to come. 

Interesting Frontal Wind Facts 

Gusts of wind are not only indicative of ongoing or soon-to-be occurring storms but are also attached to many interesting factors relating to nature and the environment.

  • The wind is the flow of gases and on earth, it is the movement of air.
  • Winds can be known as a breeze, gale, storm, or even hurricane.
  • The wind is powerful enough to provide energy that can eventually help to produce electricity.
  • There are many recreational activities that use the wind such as kiteboarding, windsurfing, sailing, and paragliding.
  • A strong gust of wind is caused by differences in air pressure, as air rushes from higher pressured areas to lower pressured areas.

The Bottom Line 

As you can see wind is a lot more intricate than just moving air. It is something that we experience almost on a daily basis and especially when there are thunderstorms occurring. It is important to understand the severity and levels of different winds as well as the potential they have to cause damage. Wind gust knowledge is also helpful when it comes to possibly determining what may be coming your way.

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