When were the phenomenon of trade winds first explained, and by whom?
Astronomer Edmund Halley (1656-1742), who is usually thought of as the discoverer of the comet that bears his name, was also interested in cartography, oceanography, and the atmosphere. For instance, he created tidal charts and maps illustrating the path of ecliptic shadows. In 1868, he formed a theory to explain why we have the trade winds. Halley correctly guessed that it had to do with warm tropical air mixing with cooler air from more northern and southern latitudes. His idea, though, did not adequately explain why the winds blow from east to west, rather than south to north, as his theory would have indicated. It took English meteorologist George Hadley's (1685-1768) discovery of convection cells to amend the theory correctly in 1735.
Climatologist William Ferrel has been called "The Father of Geophysical Fluid Dynamics." (NOAA).
What are aeolian sounds?
The somewhat musical, sometimes mournful sound wind makes when blowing across branches, wires, or circular objects is called an aeolian sound. Aeolus was the Greek god of wind, and aeolian is a musical term used to refer to wind instruments or to a diatonic scale.
What are the westerlies?
These winds flow at mid-latitudes (30 to 60 degrees north and south of the equator) from west to east around the Earth. The high-altitude winds known as the jet stream are also westerlies.
What is a Chinook?
A Chinook, sometimes called a "snow eater" because it melts snows, is a wind that is generally warm and originates from the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains. it often moves from the southwest in a downslope manner, causing a noticeable rise in temperature that helps to warm the plains just east of the Rocky Mountains.
What is "The Doctor"?
This is an affectionate term, used in places such as the Caribbean, referring to the cool, refreshing sea breezes that make a hot day more bearable.
What is a harmattan?
This word refers to the sub-Saharan, west coast winds that are dry, hot, and dusty, but fairly moderate in strength.
What is a katabatic wind?
A katabatic wind develops because of cold, heavy air spilling down sloping terrain (e.g., a Chinook), moving the lighter, warmer air in front of it. The air is dried and heated as it streams down the slope. At times, the falling air becomes warmer than the air it restores.
What are some other katabatic winds called?
In addition to the Chinook, the Santa Ana winds that flow down the Sierras in southern California, and the Taku, which is a frigid wind in Alaska, are both examples of katabatic winds.
What is a Nor'Easter?
A Nor'Easter is a storm along the eastern coast of North America that affects the region with northeasterly winds with speeds up to 75 miles (121 kilometers) per hour or more. Such storms evolve when low pressure systems accumulate humid air from the Atlantic Ocean, or from the Gulf of Mexico, and combine it with cold dry air coming down from Canada in conjunction with a strong jet stream. The system rotates counterclockwise, bringing strong rain storms in the south and, in winter, snow to the Northeast.
Nor'Easters have wreaked havoc on the United States a number of times. For example, a February 1969 Nor'Easter dumped 70 inches (178 centimeters) of snow on Rumford, Maine, and 164 inches (416.5 centimeters) on Pinkham Notch, New Hampshire. One of the worst Nor'easters resulted in a super storm in March 1993 that is still referred to as the "Storm of the Century."
What are Northers?
Also known as Blue Northers, these are cold winds that blow southward from the Texas plains down to the Gulf of Mexico.